Foreclosure activity last month dropped 9 percent from March 2011 and 34 percent from April 2010, according to RealtyTrac's latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, were reported on 219,258 U.S. properties in April, the lowest level in more than three years.
The report also shows one in every 593 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during April 2011.
RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio said that the slowdown in foreclosure activity has more to do with ongoing delays in processing foreclosures than the result of a housing recovery.
“The first delay occurs between delinquency and foreclosure, when lenders and services are no longer automatically pushing loans that are more than 90 days delinquent into foreclosure but are waiting longer to allow for loan modifications, short sales and possibly other disposition alternatives,” said Saccacio. “Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that about 3.7 million properties are in this seriously delinquent stage. The second delay occurs after foreclosure has started, when lenders are taking much longer than they were just a few years ago to complete the foreclosure process.”
Nationwide, foreclosures completed (REOs) in the first quarter of 2011 took an average of 400 days from the initial default notice to the REO, up from 340 days in the first quarter of 2010 and more than double the average 151 days it took to foreclose in the first quarter of 2007.
The foreclosure process took much longer in some states. The average timeframe from initial default notice to REO in New Jersey and New York was more than 900 days in the first quarter of 2011, more than three times the average timeline in the first quarter of 2007 for both states.
The average foreclosure process in Florida took 619 days for foreclosures completed in the first quarter, up from 470 days in the first quarter of 2010 and nearly four times the average of 169 days it took in the first quarter of 2007.
The average foreclosure process in California took 330 days for foreclosures completed in the first quarter, up from 262 days in the first quarter of 2010 and more than double the average of 134 days in took in the first quarter of 2007.
For the full report, visit: http://www.realtytrac.com/content/press-releases/foreclosure-activity-at-40-month-low-6578.