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Foreclosure filings dip 27% from last year- why it is not a recovery

RealtyTrac today released its US Foreclosure Market Report for February revealing a 14% drop in foreclosure filings (default notices, bank repossessions and scheduled auctions) from January and a 27% drop from February 2010.

This annual drop is the largest RealtyTrac has seen since they began tracking foreclosure filings in 2005, hitting its lowest level since February 2008.

Does this spell a housing crisis recovery? Not quite… don’t forget about the robosigning debacle.

“Foreclosure activity dropped to a 36-month low in February as allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets,” said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. “While a small part of February’s decrease can be attributed to it being a short month and bad weather, the bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures.”

Which states had the most foreclosures?

It’s no surprise that Nevada takes the top spot, it has for the last 49 months in a row despite a 22% drop in foreclosures from January. Again, foreclosures are paused due to regrouping of banks in the midst of lawsuits against robosigners.

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Arizona endured the second highest foreclosure rate, California came in third accounting for 25% of the national total this month, while Utah came in fourth and Idaho fifth.

It is interesting to note, however, that no Florida cities ranked in the top 20 among cities with over 200,000 residents for the second month in a row.

Breaking it down by filing type

Lenders foreclosed on 18% fewer properties than in February 2010 and REOs were down 37% from their peak in September 2010.

Bank repos in states with a judicial foreclosure process dropped 35% from February 2010, while bank repossessions in states with a non-judicial foreclosure process only dropped 8%. In states with a judicial foreclosure process, default notices dipped a whopping 48% from February 2010 and in states with a non-judicial foreclosure process, notices dropped 31%.

A total of 63,165 properties received default notices for the first time in February, down 41% from February 2010. Default notices were 55% below their highest recorded point in April 2009 as reported by RealtyTrac (who has tracked filings since 2005).

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We predict these numbers will change dramatically as banks regroup and reformat their processes and as legislation on housing along with government sponsored programs continue to shape the real estate industry.

AG is not affiliated with RealtyTrac.

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.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Joe Manausa

    March 10, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I agree Tara, the banks are in a regrouping stage. We saw similar numbers here in Tallahassee last month. New lis pendens filings in Tallahassee dropped 48% in February when compared to February 2010, and foreclosures fell 18%.

  2. BawldGuy

    March 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I’m with you and Joe, Tara. Wishful thinkin’ ain’t gonna change the next few years.

  3. MH for Movoto

    March 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Great post, Tara. And I definitely agree with you – this isn’t the end.

    Amazing what a difference in processing time judicial review makes, though. Wow.

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