Foreclosure filings in July 2015 were up 7 percent from the previous month and up 14 percent from a year ago, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.com.
July was the fifth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in overall foreclosure activity after 53 consecutive months of decreases.
“The increase in overall foreclosure activity over the last five months has been driven primarily by rapidly rising bank repossessions, which in July reached the highest level since January 2013,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a release announcing the report.
“Meanwhile, foreclosure starts in July were at the lowest level since November 2005 — a nearly 10-year low that demonstrates that the recent rise in bank repossessions represents banks flushing out old distress rather than new distress being pushed into the pipeline.
“This clearing of old distress is evident in the fact that properties foreclosed in the second quarter had been in the foreclosure process an average of 629 days, the longest in any quarter since we began tracking in the first quarter of 2007,” Blomquist said. “It’s also evident that the recent surge in REOs is in fact clearing out more of the bad bubble-era loans from the so-called shadow inventory. RealtyTrac data now shows 61 percent of loans still in the foreclosure process were originated during the housing bubble years of 2004 to 2008, down from 68 percent last year and 75 percent two years ago.”
Bank repossessions at 30-month high, increase annually in 44 states
There were 46,957 properties repossessed by lenders (REO) in July, up 29 percent from the previous month and up 81 percent from a year ago, to the highest level since January 2013. Despite the recent increases, REOs in July were still less than half their peak of 102,134 in September 2010, but more than twice their pre-crisis average of 23,119 a month in 2005 and 2006.
REOs increased from a year ago in 44 states in July, including:
- Florida (up 78 percent)
- California (up 23 percent)
- Texas (up 187 percent)
- Georgia (up 87 percent)
- Michigan (up 129 percent)
- Ohio (up 69 percent)
- New Jersey (up 344 percent)
Foreclosure starts below pre-crisis levels, down annually in 31 states
There were 45,381 U.S. properties that started the foreclosure process for the first time in July, down 8 percent from the previous month and down 9 percent from a year ago, to the lowest level since November 2005 — a nearly 10-year low. Foreclosure starts in July were less than one-fourth of their peak of 203,948 in April 2009 and below their pre-crisis average of 52,279 a month in 2005 and 2006.
Foreclosure starts decreased from a year ago in 31 states in July, including:
- California (down 25 percent)
- New York (down 19 percent)
- Texas (down 40 percent)
- Illinois (down 18 percent)
- Georgia (down 24 percent)
- Ohio (down 22 percent)
- Michigan (down 37 percent)
- Maryland (down 15 percent)
States with increasing foreclosure starts — bucking the national trend — included Massachusetts (up 130 percent), New Jersey (up 76 percent), Missouri (up 72 percent), Wisconsin (up 27 percent) and Florida (up 16 percent).
Scheduled foreclosure auctions down after two months of increases
A total of 48,124 U.S. properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in July, down 1 percent from the previous month and down 7 percent from a year ago, following two consecutive months of year-over-year increases. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in July were less than one-third of their peak of 158,105 in March 2010 but still above their pre-crisis average of 33,634 a month in 2005 and 2006.
Scheduled foreclosure auctions — which are foreclosure starts in some states where they are the first public notice of foreclosure — increased from a year ago in 25 states, including New York (up 157 percent), New Jersey (up 101 percent), Massachusetts (up 54 percent), Connecticut (up 45 percent), Nevada (up 23 percent), Virginia (up 21 percent) and Illinois (up 19 percent).
13 of 20 largest U.S. metros post annual increase in foreclosure activity
Among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas by population, 13 posted year-over-year increases in overall foreclosure activity, led by St. Louis (up 148 percent), Boston (up 78 percent), New York (up 59 percent), Detroit (up 42 percent) and Philadelphia (up 40 percent).
Major markets with annual decreases in foreclosure activity in July were Houston (down 33 percent), Phoenix (down 23 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino (down 12 percent), Los Angeles (down 11 percent), Minneapolis (down 8 percent), San Diego (down 5 percent) and Chicago (down 2 percent).
Miami posted the highest foreclosure rate in July among the 20 largest metro areas. One in every 339 Miami housing units had a foreclosure filing in July — more than three times the national average of one in every 1,057 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
With one in every 375 housing units with a foreclosure filing, Tampa posted the second highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas in July, followed by Baltimore (one in every 495 housing units), Chicago (one in every 586 housing units) and Philadelphia (one in every 627 housing units).
Atlantic City posts highest metro foreclosure rate; eight Florida cities in top 10
With one in every 258 housing units with a foreclosure filing in July — more than four times the national average — Atlantic City, New Jersey, posted the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
Florida, Maryland, New Jersey post highest state foreclosure rates
• Florida foreclosure starts increased 16 percent from a year ago.
• Maryland foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from a year ago.
• New Jersey foreclosure activity increased 129 percent from a year ago in July.
• Nevada foreclosure activity increased 10 percent from a year ago, and the state posted the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate — one in every 587 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee’s Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.