Legal filings related to foreclosure
declined both in March and in the entire first quarter compared to previous
periods RealtyTrac said today. The
company's U.S. Foreclosure Report covering the month and quarter reported there
were filings of some type on 152,500 properties in March, down 1 percent from
February and 23 percent compared to March 2012.
This was a rate of one filing for
every 859 housing units in the country on a monthly basis.
Filings during the first quarter affected 442,117
properties, down 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 and 23 percent from
the first quarter last year. Filings
over the quarter impacted one in 296 housing units and were at the lowest level
since the second quarter of 2007.
"Although the overall national
foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are
bolting higher in some local markets where aggressive foreclosure prevention
efforts in previous years are wearing off," said Daren Blomquist, vice
president at RealtyTrac. "Meanwhile, more recent foreclosure prevention efforts
in other states have drastically increased the average time to foreclose, which
could result in a similar outbreak of delayed foreclosures down the road in
Irvine California based RealtyTrac follows
foreclosure filings in three categories - Notice of Default or Lis Pendens,
Notice of Trustee or Foreclosure Sale (foreclosure starts) , and Real Estate
Owned (REO) or bank repossessions.
foreclosure starts in February represented the second consecutive increase in
that category following three months when starts declined. The change from January to February was +2
percent but was lower by 28 percent than in March 2012. There were 43,597 bank repossessions during
the month, down 3 percent from February, 21 percent from a year earlier, and
the fewest repossessions since 2007.
of time needed to complete a foreclosure continues to increase. The average timeline from first missed
payment to repossession was 477 days in the first quarter compared to 414 days
in Q4 2012 and 370 days Q1.
huge state-to-state discrepancies in foreclosure times - ranging from 159 days
in Texas to 1,049 days in New York and 1,002 in New Jersey. States with the longest timelines are almost
all judicial foreclosure states but the states with the greatest increase in
the length of the process from the fourth quarter of 2012 were all non-judicial
states. Oregon was up 61 percent,
Arkansas 42 percent, and Texas 40 percent
There was also a striking divergence
in foreclosure activity between judicial and non-judicial states. Activity in states using a judicial or
quasi-judicial process saw a year-over-year increase of 4 percent in March and 6
percent in the first quarter while activity declined in non-judicial states by
44 percent in both periods.
Foreclosure starts increased in 23
states in March compared to February and in 12 states compared to one year
earlier. The largest increases were in
New York (+200 percent), Maryland (+193 percent), and Washington (+154 percent). Bank repossessions increased on an annual basis
in 16 states led by Arkansas (+121 percent), Maryland (+114 percent) and
Washington (+88 percent.)
Florida continues to lead the
country in foreclosure filings with 85,671 in the first quarter or one in every
104 housing units, nearly three times the national average. The Florida rate in the first quarter was 7
percent higher than in the previous quarter and 17 percent above one year
earlier. Seven of the ten metropolitan
areas with the highest foreclosure rates are located in the state.
Nevada continues to be among the
most foreclosure-plagued states with activity up 13 percent quarter over
quarter. One in every 115 housing units had
a filing during the quarter and foreclosure starts in March were at an 18 month
high, 88 percent higher than one year earlier.
While Illinois saw foreclosure
activity decrease 2 percent quarter-over-quarter and 5 percent year-over-year
it still had the nation's third highest filing rate, one in every 147 housing
units. Ohio, (one in every 188 housing
units) and Georgia (one in every 200 units despite three consecutive quarters
of improvement) rounded out the top five.
Miami had the highest rate among
large metropolitan areas with one in every 79 housing units receiving a
filing. Orlando (one in 86 units) and
Ocala (one in 92 units) were second and third in the nation while Las Vegas
(one in 99) and Jacksonville, Florida (one in 105) were fourth and fifth.