SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 2 Percent in October Driven by Continued Rise in Judicial Foreclosure Auctions

Scheduled Judicial Foreclosure Auctions Increase Annually for 16th Straight Month Foreclosure Starts Up Monthly for Second Straight Month, Big Jumps in FL, IL, CO

IRVINE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 11/14/13 -- RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for October, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 133,919 U.S. properties in October, a 2 percent increase from the previous month but a 28 percent decrease from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 978 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

High-level findings from the report:

  • There were a total of 30,023 scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) nationwide in October, up 10 percent from the previous month and up 7 percent from a year ago -- the 16th consecutive month where judicial foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago.

  • States with the biggest annual increases in scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions included Maryland (up 177 percent), Delaware (up 142 percent), New York (up 98 percent), New Jersey (up 97 percent), Pennsylvania (up 58 percent), Connecticut (up 35 percent), and Florida (up 32 percent).

  • There were a total of 58,939 U.S. properties that started the foreclosure process for the first time in October, up 2 percent from the previous month but still down 34 percent from a year ago -- the 15th consecutive month where foreclosure starts have decreased on an annual basis.

  • Foreclosure starts were up from the previous month in 22 states, including Colorado (up 124 percent), Florida (up 36 percent), and Illinois (up 30 percent).

  • There were a total of 37,775 bank repossessions (REO) nationwide in October, down 1 percent from the previous month and down 29 percent from a year ago -- the 11th consecutive month where bank repossessions have decreased annually.

  • Bank repossessions increased from a year ago in 15 states, including Oklahoma (up 59 percent), Maryland (up 54 percent), Virginia (up 47 percent), Ohio (up 30 percent), and Washington (up 30 percent).

  • States with the five highest foreclosure rates in October were Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Ohio and Illinois.

  • Among the nation's 20 largest metro areas, the highest foreclosure rates were in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore and Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. The biggest annual increases in foreclosure activity were in Baltimore (up 296 percent for 13th consecutive month with an annual increase), Washington, D.C. (up 48 percent for fifth consecutive month with an annual increase), New York (up 20 percent for 16th consecutive month with an annual increase), Philadelphia (up 15 percent for eighth consecutive month with an annual increase), and Miami (up 7 percent for first annual increase after two consecutive months of annual decreases).

"The backlog of delayed judicial foreclosures continues to make its way through the pipeline, with many of these properties now being scheduled for the public auction after starting the foreclosure process last year or earlier this year," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Lenders are likely moving these properties more rapidly to the public auction given that there is strong demand from institutional buy-to-rent investors at the auction and that rising home prices mean more of the loan losses can be recouped, either by selling to an investor at the auction or by repossessing the property and reselling as bank owned."

Local broker quotes
"Some people who defaulted three years ago are just now being contacted by the bank to begin the foreclosure process. This explains some of the recent rise in bank repossessions in Oklahoma," said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets. "When home prices were heading downward banks would sometimes send default notices to homeowners but allow them to stay in the home without making payments if the homeowner would maintain the home and keep it in good condition. Now that the economy is improving and home prices are rising, banks are attempting to restructure the loan or begin the foreclosure process."

"Homeowners and homebuyers are now able to negotiate home sales together without a bank being involved. It's the way real estate should be, and it's nice to be back to a more normal real estate market again," said Rich Cosner, President of Prudential California Realty, covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California.

"The increase in Reno-area foreclosure activity is likely the result of lenders pushing through some foreclosures before the new Nevada Homeowner Bill of Rights took effect in October," said Craig King, COO of Chase International, covering the Reno and Lake Tahoe markets. "Despite that increase, we're making steady progress away from the problems that plagued the real estate industry in Northern Nevada. Short sales and foreclosures used to be 85 percent of the market and equity sales used to be 15, and now it's exactly flipped."

"The October foreclosure numbers provide evidence that Ohio has worked through much of the backlog of foreclosure activity here, and now we are seeing lenders taking far quicker action in initiating the foreclosure process on mortgages in default," said Michael Mahon, Executive Vice President/Broker for HER Realtors covering Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. "Low market inventory levels and increasing home prices are also prompting lenders to initiate the foreclosure process much more quickly."

Florida, Nevada and Maryland post top state foreclosure rates
Florida foreclosure activity in October increased 22 percent from the previous month, driven primarily by a 36 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts, helping the state regain the nation's highest foreclosure rate after two months in the second spot. A total of 26,962 Florida properties had foreclosure filings during the month, one in every 332 housing units.

Nevada foreclosure activity in October dropped 39 percent from the previous month off a 21-month high in September, but the state still posted the nation's second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 407 housing units with a foreclosure filing. New legislation called the Nevada Homeowner Bill of Rights that changes the foreclosure process in the state took effect in October.

Maryland posted the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate in October, up from the No. 4 spot in September, thanks to a 10 percent monthly increase and 201 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity -- the 16th consecutive month where Maryland foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis. One in every 516 Maryland housing units had a foreclosure filing in October.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation's 10 highest in October were Ohio (one in every 525 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Illinois (one in every 552 housing units), Utah (one in every 695 housing units), South Carolina (one in every 729 housing units), Delaware (one in every 748 housing units), Connecticut (one in every 752 housing units), and Georgia (one in every 897 housing units).

Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore and Riverside post top metro foreclosure rates
Among the nation's 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, Miami posted the highest foreclosure rate: one in every 264 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Miami foreclosure activity in October increased 7 percent from a year ago boosted by a 51 percent jump in scheduled foreclosure auctions.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 40 percent year-over-year in Tampa, Fla., helping that metro area post the nation's second highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas in October: one in every 302 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Chicago foreclosure activity dropped annually for the 11th consecutive month, but a 30 percent month-over-month jump in foreclosure starts helped the metro area's foreclosure rate rank third highest among the 20 largest metro areas nationwide in October. On in every 427 Chicago-area housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

Baltimore foreclosure activity increased 296 percent from a year ago -- the 13th consecutive month with an annual increase -- and the metro area's foreclosure rate of one in every 490 housing units with a foreclosure filing ranked fourth highest among the nation's 20 largest metros in October.

Despite a 60 percent annual decrease in foreclosure activity in October, the inland California metro area of Riverside-San Bernardino posted a foreclosure rate that was above the national average and fifth highest among the nation's 20 largest metros: one in every 531 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Report methodology
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.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information please contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or [email protected].

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the nation's leading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

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