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One Million Foreclosures Delayed

July 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM   |   Comments

Foreclosure filings in the first half of this year fell 25 percent from the last six months of 2010 and are off 29 percent from the first half of 2010.

Though filings rose 4 percent in June from May, they were down 29 percent from June 2010. June was the ninth straight month where foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis, according to RealtyTrac's Midyear 2011 Foreclosure Market Report.

However, the time that properties foreclosed were in the foreclosure process rose nearly 15 percent from a year ago. It now takes an average of 318 days from the initial foreclosure notice to the completed foreclosure, up from a revised 298 days in the first quarter and up from 277 days in the second quarter of 2010.

The foreclosure process took the longest in New York, at 966 days on average for properties foreclosed in the second quarter, followed by New Jersey at 944 days and Florida at 676 days. Texas posted the shortest foreclosure timeline, at 92 days for properties foreclosed in the second quarter, followed by Virginia at 106 days.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 608,235 U.S. properties during the second quarter, a decrease of nearly 11 percent from the first quarter and a decrease of 32 percent from the second quarter of 2010. The second quarter total was the lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2007. All categories of foreclosure were down both on quarterly basis and annual basis in the second quarter.

"Processing and procedural delays are pushing foreclosures further and further out – we estimate that as many as 1 million foreclosure actions that should have taken place in 2011 will now happen in 2012, or perhaps even later. This casts an ominous shadow over the housing market, where recovery is unlikely to happen until the current and forthcoming inventory of distressed properties can be whittled down to a manageable number," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

Nearly 5 percent of all Nevada housing units (one in 21) received at least one foreclosure filing in the first half of 2011, giving Nevada the nation's highest foreclosure rate during the six-month period despite continued decreases in foreclosure activity. A total of 53,217 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing from January to June, a decrease of 17 percent from both the previous six months as well as from the first six months of 2010. Overall Nevada foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the fifth straight month in June despite a 19 percent year-over-year spike in REO activity.

Arizona registered the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate in the first half of 2010, with 2.82 percent of its housing units (one in 36) receiving a foreclosure filing, and California registered the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate, with 1.96 percent of its housing units (one in 51) receiving a foreclosure filing during the six months.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest were Utah (1.65 percent), Georgia (1.50 percent), Idaho (1.49 percent), Michigan (1.34 percent), Florida (1.28 percent), Colorado (1.19 percent), and Illinois (1.15 percent).

A total of 263,500 California properties received a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2011, the nation's highest total but down 13 percent from the previous six months and down nearly 23 percent from the first half of 2010. California foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the 19th straight month in June, but default notices and REOs increased on a month-over-month basis, continuing a sawtooth pattern in the monthly numbers.

With 113,641 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in the first six months of 2011, Florida documented the second highest state total despite a nearly 55 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous six months and a nearly 59 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the first half of 2010. Florida foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the eighth straight month in June, but default notices spiked 44 percent from May and scheduled auctions jumped 17 percent from May.

Arizona's 77,525 properties with foreclosure filings in the first six months of 2011 was the third highest state total. The state's foreclosure activity decreased nearly 7 percent from the previous six months and was down 15 percent from the first half of 2010.

Other states with first-half totals among the 10 highest in the country were Michigan (61,005), Georgia (60,870), Illinois (60,636), Texas (55,442), Nevada (53,217), Ohio (44,419), and Colorado (25,744).

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