Foreclosure filings fell 8 per cent year-over-year in February, with 206,900 U.S. properties receiving some form of filing, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.But don’t be fooled by these numbers. Foreclosure activity is expected to increase 15 per cent this year compared to 2011, according to RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist.
While foreclosure activity was pushed down by decreases in some of the larger states, 21 states reported annual increases in foreclosure activity, a level not seen since November 2010.
RealtyTrac CEO Branon Moore said he expects foreclosures to rise this year, pushed by states where courts are working through a backlog of foreclosed properties:
“February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed.
…Not surprisingly, many of the biggest annual increases in February were in states with the more bureaucratic judicial foreclosure process, which resulted in a larger backlog of foreclosures built up over the last 18 months in those states.”
RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist said foreclosure activity fell to artificially low levels last year because of the fall-out from the robo-signing scandal where banks were accused of shoddy mortgage paperwork and when judges prevented banks from foreclosing on homes.
A comparison of states with a judicial foreclosure process and ones without shows how much of an impact this had on foreclosure activity as a whole. In the 26 states with a judicial foreclosure process, foreclosure activity was up 2 per cent month-over-month (mum) and 24 per cent year-over-year (YoY). In the 24 states with a non-judicial foreclosure process, activity fell 5 per cent mum and 23 per cent YoY.