Default Notices Fall; REOs Inch Higher

Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were reported on 333,837 properties in April – a 9% decrease from the previous month and a 2% decrease from April 2009, RealtyTrac reports. One in every 387 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

The April report reveals two important milestones, according to RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio.

‘April was the first month in the history of our report with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity,’ he explains. ‘Secondly, [real estate owned properties (REOs)] hit a record monthly high for the report even while default notices dropped substantially on a monthly and annual basis. We expect a similar pattern to continue for most of this year, with the overall numbers staying at a high level and ripples of activity hitting the various stages of the foreclosure process as lenders systematically work through the backlog of distressed properties.’

During the month, a total of 103,762 properties received default notices – a decrease of 12% from the previous month and a decrease of 27% from April 2009, when default activity peaked at more than 142,000.

Foreclosure auctions were scheduled for the first time on a total of 137,643 properties during the month, representing a 13% from the previous month, when auction activity peaked with more than 158,000 properties scheduled for auction for the first time. Auction activity was up 1% from April 2009.

More than 92,000 properties were repossessed by lenders during the month – an increase of 1% from the previous month and an increase of 45% from April 2009. Bank repossessions were less than 1% above their previous peak of 92,182 in December 2009.

Nevada posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the 40th straight month, with one in every 69 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in April – more than five times the national average. A 57% monthly increase in REO activity pushed the state's overall foreclosure activity up 10% from the previous month, but overall foreclosure activity was statistically unchanged from April 2009.

Arizona foreclosure activity decreased nearly 15% from the previous month, but the state's foreclosure rate moved from third highest in March to second highest in April thanks to an even bigger decrease in California, RealtyTrac says. One in every 169 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing in April – more than twice the national average.

Florida posted the nation's third highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, despite monthly and annual decreases in foreclosure activity.

SOURCE: RealtyTrac


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