Foreclosure Filings in U.S. Jump Above 300,000 For Sixth Straight Month

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Green shoots!

    That's only an annualized foreclosure rate (6 months running now) of 3,600,000 homes, and the best part is that there's a shadow inventory in the wings, not listed yet for a variety of reasons.

    No one knows how many foreclosures there will be at this point. It could be running above ten million by the time all is said and done, probably sometime in 2012 or 2013 (maybe?).

    This is just one prong of the great wealth destruction of America, as so much leverage in the form of consumer and business debt was carried on the back of these mortgages that secured many of these homes, even acknowledging it was the result of a massive bubble.

    - The real tagline is that these foreclosures are radically depressing the values of all homes, even those not in foreclosure, and will create years upon years of excess inventories of housing units.

    Good luck to all soon-to-be retirees if they're not real liquid and solid.

    U.S. Foreclosure Filings Top 300,000 for Sixth Straight Month
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    By Daniel Taub


    Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) --
    Foreclosure filings in the U.S. exceeded 300,000 for the sixth straight month as job losses that boosted the unemployment rate to a 26-year high left many homeowners unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.

    A total of 358,471 properties received a default or auction notice or were seized last month, according to data provider RealtyTrac Inc. That’s up 18 percent from a year earlier, and down 0.5 percent from July, the Irvine, California-based company said in a statement. One in 357 households received a filing.

    Foreclosures rose from a year earlier as companies cut payrolls by 216,000 workers last month, boosting the U.S. jobless rate to 9.7 percent, according to Labor Department data released last week. The rise in unemployment is having a bigger impact than an effort by the U.S. government and banks to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosures, said Morris A. Davis, an assistant real-estate professor at the Wisconsin School of Business.

    “The foreclosure numbers are largely unemployment related,” Davis, a former Federal Reserve Board economist, said in an interview. “As long as 15 million Americans are unemployed, record foreclosures will continue.”

    Foreclosures aren’t abating even as demand is returning to the U.S. housing market after a three-year slump. The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in July and increased for a record sixth consecutive month, while mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average price rose 1.7 percent in the second quarter.

    Nevada Leads

    Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate in August, with one in every 62 households receiving a filing, even with an 8.4 percent decrease in foreclosures from July, RealtyTrac said. August filings were up 53 percent from a year earlier, with 17,902 Nevada properties receiving a foreclosure filing.

    The second-highest foreclosure rate in August was recorded in Florida, with one in every 140 households receiving a filing, followed by California, where one in 144 households received a foreclosure filing.

    A 9.6 percent month-to-month decrease in filings helped lower Arizona’s foreclosure rate to fourth-highest in August from third-highest in July, RealtyTrac said. One in every 150 Arizona households received a foreclosure filing last month, still more than twice the national average, the company said.

    Forty-seven banks have begun 360,165 modifications through the U.S. government’s Making Home Affordable program, up from about 235,247 in July, the U.S. Treasury said in a report yesterday.

    Mortgage Modifications

    Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., among the worst performers of banks in the foreclosure-prevention plan, stepped up their pace of mortgage modifications by at least 60 percent last month. Bank of America more than doubled its number of modifications started to 59,891 in August from July, while Wells Fargo increased by 64 percent to 33,172.

    While the loan revamps may prevent some foreclosures, many homeowners facing repossession have prime loans, mortgages considered less risky than the subprime loans blamed for much of the housing crash, and can’t make their payments because of job losses, said Richard K. Green, director of the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate.

    “When people live in a housing market that’s dropped 30 or 40 percent, and they lose their jobs, that’s a recipe for default,” Green said.

    About 4.3 percent of U.S. homes, or one in 25 properties, were in foreclosure in the second quarter, the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association said last month. That’s the most in three decades of data, and loans overdue by at least 90 days, the point at which foreclosure proceedings typically begin, rose to 7.97 percent, the highest on record.

    Michigan, Idaho

    In the RealtyTrac survey, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Georgia and Illinois accounted for the other states with the top 10 highest rates of foreclosure filings. Six states accounted for 62 percent of the nation’s foreclosure filings.

    New Jersey had the 11th highest rate with 8,316 filings, a 28 percent increase from a year earlier. Connecticut ranked 24th with 2,189 filings, a 22 percent increase. New York had the 39th highest rate with 5,350 filings, down 2.3 percent.

    Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. One in every 53 households received a notice in August, up 48 percent from a year earlier and down 11 percent from July. Also in Nevada, the Reno-Sparks area had the seventh-highest foreclosure rate, with one in 86 households receiving a filing, RealtyTrac said.

    California’s Performance

    California had six metropolitan areas among the top 10. Stockton and Merced ranked second and third; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Vallejo-Fairfield and Modesto were fourth through sixth; and Bakersfield was 10th. Two Florida metropolitan areas were in the top 10, with Orlando- Kissimmee at No. 8 and Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 9, according to RealtyTrac, which collects data from more than 2,200 counties representing 90 percent of the U.S. population.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Taub in Los Angeles at
    Last Updated: September 10, 2009 00:00 EDT