said today that 1,045,801 default notices, auction sale notices and bank
repossessions (REO) were filed during the first two quarters of 2012. This was an increase of 2 percent from the total
in the last two quarters of 2011 but 11 percent below filings during the first
half of last year. Filings affected 0.79
percent or one in every 126 housing units in the U.S during the most recent six
second quarter had fewer foreclosure filings than the first quarter but the
pattern changed. REO filers were down
but there was a 9 percent increase in foreclosure starts to 311,010 filings during
the second quarter, also an increase (6 percent) from one year earlier. This was the first year-over-year increase in
quarterly foreclosure starts since the fourth quarter of 2009. June was the 21st consecutive
month in which overall foreclosure activity was lower than during the same
month a year earlier but the month also saw an annual increase in foreclosure
starts for the second month in a row.
scrutiny on how lenders and servicers process foreclosures, along with
aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts by the federal government and several
state governments, continue to keep a lid on the foreclosure problem at a
national level," said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. "Still, foreclosure
starts began boiling over in more markets in the first half of the year,
particularly in the second quarter, when rising foreclosure starts spread from
primarily judicial foreclosure states in the first quarter to more than half of
all non-judicial foreclosure states in the second quarter.
"Lenders and servicers are slowly but surely
catching up with the backlog of delinquent loans that under normal
circumstances would have started the foreclosure process last year, and that
catching up is why the average time to complete the foreclosure process started
to level off or decrease in some states in the second quarter," Moore added.
"The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely
translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of
the year and into next year."
Twenty states saw a decrease in foreclosure
filings in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2011. These included Indiana, down 32 percent;
Pennsylvania, 24 percent; Connecticut and Florida 23 percent each, and Illinois
22 percent. Foreclosure starts increased
in 31 states, 17 using judicial foreclosure and 14 with non-judicial processes.
The process of foreclosure continued to
lengthen with an average foreclosure in the second quarter taking 378 days from
the initial notice compared to 370 days in the first quarter. This was the longest average in the five plus
years RealtyTrac has been keeping records.
There were improvements however in a few states where the process had
been especially protracted. In New York
the average time decreased from 1,056 days in the first quarter to 1,001 in the
second, a 5 percent drop and in New Jersey the time decreased 3 percent. Those two states still have the first and
second longest foreclosure periods.
Bank-owned (REO) properties that sold in the
second quarter took an average of 195 days to sell from the time they were
foreclosed, up from 178 days in the first quarter; the longest sale times were
in New York, 430 days, Arkansas 357 days, and New Jersey 354 days. Short sales completed during the second
quarter took an average of 319 days from the time properties entered the
foreclosure process, up from 306 days in the first quarter. New York again was in first place with the
average short sale taking 788 days followed by New Jersey at 753 days and
Connecticut at 630.
Nevada continued its run as the state with the
most foreclosure activity although it posted 61 and 43 percent decreases from
the first and last halves of 2011. A
total of 20,618 properties in the state or one in 57 had at least one filing
during the first half of 2012.
Arizona's foreclosure activity in the first
half of 2012 decreased 37 percent from the same period in 2011 with 1.73
percent of housing units or one in 58
receiving one of 49,157 filings. Georgia had the third highest rate of
foreclosure activity in the second quarter, up 5 percent from the previous
quarter and 23 percent from a year earlier.
There were 65,342 Georgia properties affected by filings in the first
six months of the year or one in every 63 housing units.