RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Filings Spiked After Holiday Lull

Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 124,419 properties in January – an increase of about 8% compared to December, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Still, overall foreclosure activity was down 18% compared to January 2013.

The report shows one in every 1,058 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, says the month-over-month increase was expected, due to the lull caused by the holidays.

‘The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states show that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,’ Blomquist says in a release. ‘The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.’

There was a total of 57,259 foreclosure starts in January, up 10% from December but still down 12% compared to January 2013. RealtyTrac notes that January marked the 18th consecutive month where foreclosure starts decreased on a year-over-year basis.

States that saw the biggest jumps in foreclosure activity for the month included Maryland (up 126%), Connecticut (up 82%), New Jersey (up 79%), California (up 57%) and Pennsylvania (up 39%).

The report shows that scheduled foreclosure auctions (which are also foreclosure starts in some states) increased 13% in January compared to the previous month but were still down 8% from a year ago. January marked the 38th consecutive month where U.S. scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased on a year-over-year basis.

States that saw the biggest year-over-year increases in foreclosure auctions in January included Oregon (up 326%), Connecticut (up 223%), Maryland (up 113%), New York (up 73%) and Nevada (up 73%). Scheduled foreclosure auctions in New York were at the highest monthly level since October 2010 – a 39-month high – and scheduled foreclosure auctions in Nevada were at the highest level since February 2012 – a 23-month high, according to the report.

There were a total of 30,226 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in January, down 4% compared to December and down 40% compared to January 2013. This is the lowest level since July 2007, according to RealtyTrac.

Counter to the national trend, 12 states posted annual increases in REO activity in January, including New York (up 118%), Oklahoma (up 93%), Connecticut (up 75%), New Jersey (up 26%) and Maryland (up 11%).

States with the highest foreclosure rates in January were Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Illinois and New Jersey.

To read the full report, click here.


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