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After sharp increase, foreclosure starts and sales drop

After increases in both foreclosure starts and sales in January, LPS is reporting a sharp decrease in February across all investor classes. The foreclosure backlog continues to plague the industry, but could clear up this year which would massively impact all foreclosure data.

LPS reports foreclosure starts and sales are down

According to the Lender Processing Services’ (LPS) Mortgage Monitor Report, foreclosure starts and sales for February fell, sharply contrasting the rise in January, reversing the course of foreclosure activity. Additionally, LPS reports that mortgage originations are down for the fourth consecutive month.

Foreclosure starts fell 15 percent in February as sales slipped 19 percent in the same period. Foreclosure sales decreased in both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states, dropping 22 and 19 percent month-over-month respectively in February.

LPS reports that while January’s rise in foreclosure sales was most pronounced in loans held by bank portfolios, the February drop spanned across all investor classes. “Even accounting for the decrease in foreclosure sales, national pipeline ratios continue to decline off their peaks, but still differ sharply by region. As of the end of February, the average pipeline ratio in judicial states stood at 84 months, as compared to 33 months in non-judicial states. Pipeline ratios continue to be most pronounced in the Northeast, particularly in New York and New Jersey, where average pipelines remain at 846 and 772 months respectively.”

The LPS report indicates that continued declines in new problem loan rates support improved delinquency rates nationally and while seasonal patterns are evident in cures from delinquency, cure rates across almost all categories of delinquent loans are up.

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First-time foreclosures remained stable, while repeat foreclosures rose 8.0 percent in February. New mortgage originations remain depressed, continuing a four month decline.

Loan delinquency rates nationally

In total, the U.S. loan delinquency rate, according to LPS is 7.57 percent, down 5.0 percent for the month. The Total foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate is 4.13 percent as of February, down half a percent for the month.

Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois are the states with the highest percentage of non-current loans.

It is still projected that foreclosure rates will increase this year as the backlog of foreclosures is cleared up, but for now, LPS reports that starts and sales are down for the month.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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