Monday, April 20, 2009

March foreclosure filings

IRVINE, Calif. – April 16, 2009 – RealtyTrac® (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for Q1 2009, which shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 803,489 properties in the first quarter, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 24 percent from Q1 2008. One in every 159 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 341,180 properties in March, a 17 percent increase from the previous month and a 46 percent increase from March 2008. The March and Q1 2009 totals were the highest monthly and quarterly totals since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005 despite a decrease in bank repossessions (REOs), which were down 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3 percent from February totals.

“In the month of March we saw a record level of foreclosure activity — the number of households that received a foreclosure filing was more than 12 percent higher than the next highest month on record. Since much of this activity was in new foreclosure actions, it suggests that many lenders and servicers were holding off on executing foreclosures due to industry moratoria and legislative delays,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It’s also likely that the drop in REO activity can be attributed to these processing delays, rather than to any of the foreclosure prevention programs currently in place. It’s very likely that we’ll see the number of REOs increase again now that most of the moratoria have been lifted.

Five states account for nearly 60 percent of nation’s first quarter total
California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois accounted for nearly 60 percent of the nation’s foreclosure activity in the first quarter, with 479,516 properties receiving foreclosure filings in the five states combined.

With 230,915 properties receiving foreclosure filings during the quarter, California accounted for nearly 29 percent of the nation’s total. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 35 percent from the previous quarter and 36 percent from Q1 2008, and the first-quarter total was state’s highest quarterly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in the first quarter of 2005.

And now for the ugly numbers.....

There were 58,858 Notices of Default filed in California (a new record)

There were 34,575 Notice of Trustee sales

There were 14,352 REOs

For a total on 107,785 filings.

That's an increase of 33.4% over February and 66.5% over last March.


Anonymous said...

wow..that is crazy. So does that mean prices are going to go down some more?

Tyrone said...

Isn't this what many us have been saying would happen?

Yes it is! Be safe out there.

Oldtimer said...

A little history may be helpful before making too much about "record new defaults" and trend analysis.

Last summer, the CA legislature enacted a change in foreclosure laws that took effect in early September 2008. The law basically made banks and loan servicers document that they had tried to contact the borrower before starting the foreclosure process. The net effect of the law was that foreclosures (NODs) plummeted from 44K in August to 16K in October.

Banks and servicers have since adjusted to the new law, but most also adopted foreclosure moratoriums through the winter months that further muddled foreclosure filings.

Using data for the past 4 quarters, NODs in CA have been as follows:

2Q08 - 119.8
3Q08 - 102.4
4Q08 - 77.5
1Q09 - 124.9

It is possible that foreclosure rates are ascending to new highs. But it is also possible that the ramp-up in the past couple of months reflects a catch-up period from artificially depressed levels due to change in CA law/voluntary foreclosure moratoriums.

Time will tell.

holdmeback said...

Question for you Oldtimer. Even if the banks are just cathing up, which I agree with, how does that help your arguement that I have seen in prior post that it won't effect the market as much as everybody thinks?