Â Â Foreclosure Activity at 40-Month Low
Foreclosure activity in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest level in 40 months, according to RealtyTrac. The companyâ€™s foreclosure market report for April shows that filings â€“ including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions â€” were reported on 219,258 properties last month.
That figure represents a 9 % decline compared to March and is down 34 % from a year earlier.
It marks the seventh straight month has recorded a decline in foreclosures. This slowdown continues to be largely the result of massive delays in processing foreclosures rather than the result of a housing recovery.
The first delay occurs between delinquency and foreclosure, when lenders and services are no longer automatically pushing loans that are more than 90 days delinquent into foreclosure but are waiting longer to allow for loan modifications, short sales, and possibly other disposition alternatives.
Mortgage Bankers Association shows that about 3.7 million properties are in this limbo stage of between serious delinquency and foreclosure.
The second delay, occurs after foreclosure has started, when lenders are taking much longer than they were just a few years ago to complete the foreclosure process.
As evidence of this extended timeline, completed foreclosures in the first quarter of 2011 took an average of 400 days from the initial default notice to REO. Thatâ€™s up from 340 days in the first quarter of 2010 and more than double the average 151 days it took to foreclose in the first quarter of 2007.
The foreclosure process is taking much longer in some states. The average timeframe from initial default notice to REO in New Jersey and New York was over 900 days in the first quarter of 2011, more than three times the average timeline in the first quarter of 2007 for both states.
The full foreclosure process in Florida took an average of 619 days in the first quarter, up from 470 days in the first quarter of 2010 and nearly four times the average of 169 days it took in the first quarter of 2007.Â
In California, the foreclosure timeline extended to 330 days in the first quarter. It was 262 days a year earlier and just 134 days in the first quarter of 2007.
Ten states accounted for 70 % of U.S. foreclosure activity in April, led by
1. California with 55,869 properties receiving a filing during the month.
2. 19,649 Florida properties received a foreclosure filing in April, the second highest state total despite a 59 % decrease from April 2010.
3. Arizona tallied the third highest state total with 13,419 properties receiving foreclosure filings in April, Â
4. Michigan with 12,996,
5. Nevada with 11,761.
6. Illinois (10,055),
7. Texas (8,793),
8. Georgia (8,479),
9. Ohio (7,962), and
10. Colorado (4,379).