According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings dropped 14 percent month-over-month from January 2011 to February. This includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, and is a 27 percent year-over-year decline nationwide. Of course, there are some areas that are exceptions, such as Seattle, which had a 69.7 percent year-over-year increase, creating an isolated foreclosure trend in the area while most of the country has seen foreclosure activity drop due in large part to “allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets,” according to James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. The Seattle market’s continued downturn may be due in part to the fact that the area began its downturn later than most of the rest of the country, though it is interesting to note that uncertainty about the foreclosure process in Washington state does not appear to be slowing things down – possibly because the state allows lenders to foreclosure either via judicial or non-judicial process, giving them increased flexibility in uncertain times.
Saccacio emphasized in the report that “we expect to see the numbers bounce back” as lenders and borrowers get a clearer idea of how foreclosures and lending will work in the future. However, the bounce will “likely take several months [and] monthly volume may never return to its peak in March 2010,” he said. Do you think that it is important for foreclosures to “bounce back” or can the market recover if they never get done?
Thank you for reading the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter!
Your comments and questions are welcomed below.