RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Filings Fell 9% In November

Foreclosure actions including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 112,498 U.S. properties in November – down 9% compared to October and down 1% compared to November 2013, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

It was the 50th consecutive month that overall foreclosure activity decreased, on a year-over-year basis.

One in every 1,170 U.S. housing units was in some stage of the foreslosure process during the month, according to the report.

Foreclosure starts were down 1% compared to October, but were up 6% compared to November 2013. Foreclosure starts had been on the rise since mid-year.

The report notes that although foreclosure starts were down for the month, overall, there are still certain hotspots where foreclosure starts are flaring up. According to the report, foreclsure starts, including scheduled foreclosure auctions, increased from a year ago in 30 states, including New Jersey (up 256%), Nevada (up 138%), Massachusetts (up 137%), Indiana (up 55%), and Utah (up 20%).

About 50,000 properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, down 16% from an 18-month high in October but up 5% from a year ago.

Lenders repossessed 25,249 properties in November, down 10% from the previous month and down 17% from a year ago, making November the 24th consecutive month with year-over-year decreases.

‘The housing market is struggling to find the new normal when it comes to a tolerable level of foreclosure activity in this post-Great Recession economy,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a release. ‘Finding that new normal requires striking a balance between too much loan risk, which would result in another housing meltdown, and too little risk, which could result in a stunted recovery.

‘Foreclosure rates on 2014-originated loans are actually higher than 2013-originated loans nationwide and in many markets, indicating that lenders are open to a slightly higher level of risk than we've seen over the past five years of extremely tight lending standards,’ Blomquist adds. ‘But it's unlikely that lenders will dial up that risk level too quickly going forward given that many are still dealing with working through a lengthy and messy foreclosure process on risky loans from the last loose lending spree.’

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