Entries in Foreclosures (48)


Foreclosures Drop in First Half of 2011 Due to Paperwork Delays

ABC News(IRVINE, Calif.) -- The number of homes in the U.S. that received foreclosure filings in the first half of 2011 dropped 29 percent from the same time period last year, according to the latest mid-year report from RealtyTrac.

The foreclosure tracking firm adds that the 1,170,402 properties that received notices also marks a 25 decrease from the previous six months.

The latest figures, as RealtyTrac senior Vice President Rick Sharga explains, are not necessarily a good indication that the housing market is making a turn for the better.

"We don't really believe that the drop off in foreclosure activity is due to any particular improvement in the economy or the housing market, but rather the result of legislative paperwork and procedural delays that are plaguing the industry right now," Sharga says.

These delays could push back the housing market's recovery.

"There are over three million seriously-delinquent loans not yet in foreclosure," Sharga says. "At the current rate of foreclosure activity, it will take between three and four years just to get those homes into the foreclosure process."

He adds, "In a best-case scenario, we were expecting that the housing market might be able to recover by maybe 2014.  The delays in foreclosure proceedings an subsequent damage that's going due to the market could push that recovery out to 2015 or even early 2016."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Foreclosures Lowest Since November 2007

ABC News(IRVINE, Calif.) -- The latest monthly report on foreclosure activity from RealtyTrac shows a marked reduction of foreclosure filings in the United States during May.

According to the firm's data, overall foreclosure is down by 33 percent from a year ago, with about 215,000 American homes, or one in every 605, receiving some sort of foreclosure filing during May.
RealtyTrac says it's seeing a trend -- namely, different types of foreclosure filings spike in different states each month, likely the result of banks working through kinks in their foreclosure processes based on state laws. The industry has been accused of bypassing judicial procedures in the past and is now facing increase scrutiny of its practices.
"This pattern provides evidence that lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory," said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac in a press release.
The report says that while banks seem to be increasing their sales of foreclosed homes, they are selling into a market where there are not a lot of buyers. This likely will lead to continued drops in home values in the next few months. Foreclosed homes tend to sell at a steep discount to non-foreclosed homes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Home Prices Drop 4.2% In First Quarter of 2011

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- For the real estate market, 2011 feels like 2002. Nationwide home prices dropped more than 4 percent in the first few months of the year, wiping out nine years of value and, says Maureen Maitland at Standard & Poor's, pushing home prices to a new low.

"While the economy is turning around slowly, the housing market isn't," she said.

Record foreclosures force prices down and Maitland expects them to keep falling for the rest of the year.

"We had originally seen home prices hit their low in April 2009 right around the first quarter," Maitland said. "What we saw with today's that it now hit a new low, which says that the housing market is still very much in recession."

Some of the most severe declines are in cities hit hardest by foreclosures like Phoenix, Tampa, and Las Vegas, but home prices also fell in Chicago, Miami, and New York.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Foreclosures Fall to Three Year Low

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Foreclosure activity fell to a three-year low in the first quarter of 2011, according to the latest report released Thursday by RealtyTrac.

According to the listing firm, there was a 15 percent quarterly decrease in foreclosure activity and a 27 percent decrease from the same time period last year.

RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga says, "Unfortunately we're expecting to see foreclosure numbers go back up again."

He says the drop is attributed to lenders still dealing with a backlog of pending foreclosure cases, adding "problems in the way foreclosures were actually processed over the last year or so, that are causing the lenders to have to redo thousands and thousands of foreclosures and slowing down new activity."

Foreclosure data for March suggests the activity may be starting to creep higher.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Foreclosures Fall in February

ABC News(IRVINE, Calif.) -- The foreclosure-listing firm RealtyTrac says home foreclosures in the U.S. fell to a 36-month low in February.  

Lenders delayed taking action against homeowners last month while they deal with increased scrutiny over the handling of home repossessions. "We've been hit by two tsunami waves in this particular foreclosure cycle," according to Rick Sharga with RealtyTrac. "The first wave was caused by unsubstantially high home prices and really bad lending practices. That led to an economic downturn which led to high unemployment rates which resulted in a second wave of foreclosure actions."

Realtytrac believes the economic improvements we're seeing right now will result in few foreclosure actions, but not really for another year or so. "What we're seeing right now are numbers that are artificially low because lenders, servicers and courts are very busy reprocessing foreclosure actions that were misfiled in the first place," says Sharga

Nevada tops the home-foreclosure list once again, a position it's held for over two years now.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tips for Finding Foreclosed Homes

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- If you're interested in trying to save money by buying a foreclosed home, half the battle is finding the listings.

Roughly a quarter of the homes on the market right now are bank-owned.  But quick online searches reveal lots of questionable companies posting old listings or charging big bucks for them.

Here are some legitimate options:

-- Look in the legal notices pages of your local paper to spot legitimate auctioneers advertising courthouse steps auctions in your area.  Then check those auctioneers' websites for listings.

-- Some banks list their inventory of properties on their websites. One way to find these lists is to search the name of the bank and the term "REO," which stands for "Real Estate Owned" and means bank-owned.

-- The real estate website lists properties for sale and lets you filter your home search to look just for foreclosure properties.

-- Sometimes, after a bank has already bought properties back on the courthouse steps, it will hold another auction to try to move several properties at once.  It's just another way of marketing a property.  Three of the biggest auction companies that do these bank-owned property auctions are REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation), Hudson and Marshall, and Williams and Williams.

-- Hire a buyer's agent who specializes -- or at least has experience -- in foreclosed homes.  They will know how to target the bank-owned properties that are posted on the Multiple Listing Service.

-- is a foreclosure education and listing service.  The site offers a one-week free trial, then it's by subscription.  According to the site, the 10 states where foreclosed properties were offered at the biggest discount from market price during 2010 are:

1. Ohio, 43 percent discount
2. Kentucky, 40 percent discount
3. Tennessee, 35 percent discount
4. California, 35 percent discount
5. Pennsylvania, 35 percent discount
6. Illinois, 35 percent discount
7. New Jersey, 35 percent discount
8. Michigan, 35 percent discount
9. Georgia, 35 percent discount
10. Wisconsin, 35 percent discount ´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


One in 45 U.S. Homes Received Foreclosure Notice in 2010

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(IRVINE, Calif.) -- Despite an end-of-the-year decline in foreclosures, 2010 marked a record year for home foreclosures in the U.S.

One in 45, or 2.9 million, American homes saw a foreclosure notice last year, according to a report from Realty Trac Thursday.

While Nevada, Arizona and Florida continued to see high levels of foreclosure, states like Illinois, Colorado and Utah saw an increase in foreclosures that sent them skyrocketing into the top 10 nationally.

According to Realty Trac, the foreclosure dilemma is far from over. Senior Vice President Rick Sharga told ABC News the effects of the housing crisis are likely to continue into 2014, with around seven million Americans having their homes repossessed by that time. Other analysts, however, have suggested that 2013 could bring a rebound.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Existing Home Sales Up, Fueling Hope of Housing Recovery

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hope of a housing recovery was fueled Monday by release of the September existing home sales numbers.  The National Association of Realtors reports sales climbed for the second month in a row in September. The 10% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million homes last month is an improvement on the 4.12 million figure from August. 

It’s better than expected and some economists believe a housing recovery is building, but the October foreclosure moratorium may put a damper on the next report.  In addition, the September numbers remain well below the sales figures from last year, when a tax incentive sent buyers out shopping for homes. 

Meantime, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says regulators are reviewing mortgage companies’ actions.  Many lenders allegedly used rubber stamp approvals on foreclosure paperwork and in some cases improperly approved foreclosures on paid-up mortgages.  Bernanke said “We are looking intensively at the firms' policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures. We take violations of proper procedures seriously.”

 The findings of the review will be released next month. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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