RealtyTrac’s year-end report released Thursday shows foreclosure filings – including default, auction, and bank repossession notices – were reported on 1,887,777 U.S. properties in 2011. Of that total, 804,423 homes were taken back by lenders as REO.
Last year’s tally of nearly 1.9 million properties with a foreclosure filing seems staggering, but it’s actually the lowest reported since 2007. It’s 34 percent below 2010, 33 percent below 2009, and 19 percent below the 2008 total.
RealtyTrac’s newly appointed CEO Brandon Moore describes foreclosure activity last year as being in “full delay mode.”
“The lack of clarity regarding many of the documentation and legal issues plaguing the foreclosure industry means that we are continuing to see a highly dysfunctional foreclosure process that is inefficiently dealing with delinquent mortgages – particularly in states with a judicial foreclosure process,” Moore said.
These delays, however, may be coming to an end. Moore says there were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that indicate lenders are finally beginning to push stalled foreclosures through in select local markets.
“We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011, though still below the peak of 2010,” Moore said.
Despite signs that some markets are experiencing a pickup in foreclosures, RealtyTrac’s analysis shows that processing timelines continued to increase.
On the national stage, properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter took an average of 348 days to complete the process, up from 336 days in the third quarter and up from 305 days in the fourth quarter of 2010.
RealtyTrac says the length of the average foreclosure process has increased 24 percent from the third quarter of 2010, when lenders began to re-evaluate foreclosure procedures as a result of documentation and affidavit errors.
New York holds the title of ‘longest foreclosure process in the nation’ – an average of 1,019 days.
New Jersey documented the nation’s second longest end-to-end foreclosure process, at 964 days. Florida has the third longest at 806 days. Foreclosure activity in both these states dropped more than 60 percent from 2010 to 2011.
All three states with the longest foreclosure timelines employ the judicial foreclosure process.
Texas continues to register the shortest average foreclosure process of any state, at 90 days, but that still represents an increase from 86 days in the third quarter and 81 days in the fourth quarter of 2010.
At 106 days, Delaware has the second shortest foreclosure timeline in the nation, and Kentucky lays claim to the third shortest, at 108 days.
More than 6 percent of Nevada housing units (one in 16) had at least one foreclosure filing in 2011, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the fifth consecutive year. That’s despite a 31 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from 2010.
Arizona registered the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate for the third year in a row, with 4.14 percent of its homes (one in 24) receiving at least one filing in 2011.
California registered the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate for all of 2011, with 3.19 percent (one in every 31 homes).
Other states with 2011 foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest include: Georgia (2.71 percent), Utah (2.32 percent), Michigan (2.21 percent), Florida (2.06 percent), Illinois (1.95 percent), Colorado (1.78 percent), and Idaho (1.77 percent).
This article is by DSNews.com: “New REO Inventory in 2011=804,423 Homes.”
Shoppers, I bet many of you scoured the Sunday ads and bounced to several stores for deals over Thanksgiving weekend.
What if you applied that same effort and vigilance to shopping for a new home loan or refinance? That same attention to detail could translate into hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings over time.
“People think nothing about going to many different stores to buy a toaster or oven or dishwasher,” said Norma Garcia, attorney at Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. “They just don’t shop for (home) loans the same way they shop for other products, but they ought to.”
Consumers likely are more comfortable comparison-shopping for microwaves than mortgages because the home-loan process can be cumbersome, with reams of paperwork, unfamiliar jargon, and of course, the rush to close and move to a new place.
The U.S. government is working to make the process easier. Since May, officials have been trying to simplify and combine two required forms that show would-be borrowers their final loan terms and costs before closing. The “Know Before You Owe” campaign, spurred by sweeping financial reforms in 2010, has produced two drafts of the merged documents that are still in testing phase…
FORMS TO KNOW
This gives you an approximation of what you may owe at closing. It lists the basics including loan amount, interest rate and potential penalty costs. The form also shows you different loan scenarios to illustrate whether it would make sense, for instance, to buy points upfront to reduce your interest rate. (One point typically equals 1 percent of the loan’s value, or $1,000 for each $100,000 borrowed.) Click here to see the whole form…
FORMS TO KNOW
You get this at the closing table. The form lists every single expense and credit involved in the transaction. Click here to see the whole form…
You also get this at closing. The document breaks down how much you will owe in a different way. Perhaps the most important detail is the annual percentage rate, which rolls in all of your costs and is defined by HUD as the “true cost” of a loan. Click here to see the whole form…
TO-DO LIST BEFORE CLOSING
• If there’s a line item you don’t understand in any of the forms, ask about it.
• Scan for hidden costs. Third parties get proceeds from loans in the form of fees and commissions, said Norma Garcia, attorney at Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
• Know who’s going to service your loan. The holder of your loan can sell the loan to anyone, but they have to disclose the percentage of loans that are sold. “If you choose to go with that lender, just know that may not be the person you’re dealing with down the line,” Garcia said.
• If you sense your lender isn’t being upfront or answering your questions, find someone else. It may take interviewing two to three people to find the right lender.
• Get a second opinion on your loan documents from HUD-approved counselors at little or no charge. But be sure to do this before closing. For San Diego, you can call the Housing Opportunities Collaborative at (619) 283-2200 or (800) 462-0503. Someone will direct you to the right agency.
• Don’t sign anything unless you understand it.
Read the whole article by SignOnSanDiego.com here: “How to Bargain Shop for Mortgages“.
You have probably heard about the robo-signing fiasco and the fact that mortgage modifications are grinding to a standstill. We’re also seeing foreclosures occur after a modification has been approved–even occasionally when borrowers have the ability to make the payments. The whole process is a mess, and according to a top federal regulator, major U.S. banks are about to be penalized for “critical deficiencies” and shortcomings in their handlings of foreclosures.
One of the problems is that it is in loan servicers’ best interest to stall a foreclosure or modification. This is because they can continue to charge fees while they’re servicing the loans. They charge fees for paying taxes, sending payments to the investors after receipt from borrower, maintaining records, etc.–and those “nickels and dimes” add up.
Having gone through the modification process firsthand, I can confirm that the process is daunting at best. The most painful part was when I had to pay 11% interest on my $400,000-first mortgage when the loan was adjusting at one point; only to have the bank tell me (on multiple occasions over a three-year period) that I either made too much money…or not enough. I went to court to stop a threatened foreclosure, but I still had to pay the ridiculous interest until my modification was approved.
While I won the victory of a modification, every situation is different. Like probably many of you, I’m still upside-down on the property, but at least I’ve lowered my payments while I await the market’s recovery.
In the interim, the Controller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has put sanctions on the banks, as I mentioned above, but the sanctions barely amount to a slap on the wrist. The reality is that the regulating agencies have a history of negatively impacting borrower’s rights rather than protecting them. So where does this leave you if you are fighting to keep your homes?
My personal experience has inspired me to grow my expertise in this area so that I can help others. No American should be subject to the whims of the system, and no American family should lose their home because of the negligent practices of a third party. If you need help fighting through the process, give me a call. I’ll stand by your side.
John A Silva