Completed Foreclosures Reach Lowest Level Since July 2006

Foreclosure filings were reported on 101,938 U.S. properties in February - a decrease of 4% compared to January and a decrease of 9% compared to February 2014 to reach the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure starts were also down in February: Foreclosure proceedings were commenced on 48,079 properties - down 5% compared to January and down 7% compared to a year ago, according to the firm’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

“Given that August 2006 was the peak of the housing bubble, this eight-and-a-half-year low in foreclosure activity is a significant milestone and a sign that nationwide foreclosure activity is on track to return to historic norms this year - and is possibly even headed below historic norms given the skinny-jeans-tight lending standards over the past five years,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement. “In markets where foreclosures were processed more efficiently, we are seeing foreclosure numbers now below pre-crisis levels in some cases.

“Conversely, the cleanup of deferred distress is continuing in markets where a logjam of in-limbo foreclosures is still lingering from the housing crisis - as evidenced by rebounding foreclosure activity in those markets,” he adds.

Although things are improving, 24 states posted a year-over-year increase in overall foreclosure activity in February, including Massachusetts (up 53%) and New York (up 19%).

Nationwide, 45,880 properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in February - down 13% from January and down 4% from a year ago to reach the lowest level since July 2006.

Still, 25 states posted a year-over-year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions, including New York (up 146%), Massachusetts (up 88%), New Jersey (up 38%) and Washington (up 17%).

Bank repossessions were completed on 24,305 properties in February - up 9% from January but down 20% from a year ago. February was the 27th consecutive month where repossessions nationwide decreased on an annual basis.


NeighborWorks Announces New Round Of NFMC Funding

NeighborWorks America recently reported that $44.8 million has been awarded to 25 state housing finance agencies, 18 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling intermediaries and 68 community-based NeighborWorks organizations to provide counseling for families and individuals facing the threat of foreclosure.

The funding will be distributed through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program to nonprofit counseling agencies and local NeighborWorks organizations across the country, NeighborWorks says in a release.

These groups, in turn, will help nearly 130,000 families avoid foreclosure and keep their homes by helping them determine their eligibility for the various state and federal foreclosure-prevention assistance programs.

In addition, these groups help homeowners understand the complex foreclosure process.

NeighborWorks will use a portion of the funding to train about 1,600 counselors.


HOPE NOW: Loan Mod Volume Fell About 5% In January

Mortgage servicers processed 35,167 loan modifications in January, down about 5% from 36,639 in December, according to HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.

Of those, about 24,402 were completed under proprietary programs, while about 10,765 were completed under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

Altogether, servicers completed about 158,194 foreclosure prevention actions in January, compared to 155,079 in December.

Foreclosure starts held steady in January at about 80,000, according to HOPE NOW’s data.

Foreclosure sales, however, increased to about 36,000 in January - a jump of about 19% compared to 29,000 in December.

There were about 8,000 short sales in January - down 20% compared to about 10,000 in December.

Approximately 2,000 deeds-in-lieu were completed in January - about the same number that were completed in December.

The number of serious delinquencies remained unchanged for the month at approximately 1.9 million.

In a statement, Erik Selk, executive director for HOPE NOW, points out that the increase in foreclosure sales is partly a function of improving foreclosure timelines resulting from shrinking foreclosure volume.

“Although the foreclosure sales jumped in January, all homeowners have been reviewed for various loss mitigation options,” he says. “This is also a reflection of the effect that mediation has on foreclosure timelines in several states.”

Selk says that during two recent HOPE NOW events in California, each with about 500 attendees, it was determined that about half the attendees were delinquent on their mortgages and about 25% were unemployed.

“In addition to our loss mitigation events, our members are working on new initiatives with us, such as community repair and loan originations, designed to further stabilize the housing market,” Selk says. “We expect to roll out more detailed plans for these projects in the near future.”


Completed Foreclosures Reach Lowest Level Since July 2006




































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