Foreclosure Activity Drops 3 Percent in May; 15th Consecutive Month of Over 300,000 Foreclosure Actions


Dennis Norman

The good news is, foreclosure activity for the U.S. in May decreased by 3 percent according to a report released by RealtyTrac. The bad news is, May marked the 15 th consecutive month where the overall foreclosure activity has surpassed 300,000 actions; that’s about 4 million foreclosures in the past 15 months.

For May there were foreclosure filings reported on 322,920 properties in the U.S., a 3 percent decrease from April but a 1 percent increase from May 2009. One in every 400 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month of May.

“The numbers in May continued and confirmed the trends we noticed in April: overall foreclosure activity leveling off while lenders work through the backlog of distressed properties that have built up over the past 20 months,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Defaults and scheduled auctions combined increased by 28 percent from 2007 to 2008 and another 32 percent from 2008 to 2009 — creating a build-up of delayed bank repossessions. Lenders appear to be ramping up the pace of completing those forestalled foreclosures even while the inflow of delinquencies into the foreclosure process has slowed.”

Bank Repo’s Hit Record in May

The number of properties actually taken back (foreclosed upon) in May was 93,777 breaking the prior month’s record high and setting a new record.

States with Highest Foreclosure Rates in May-

  1. Nevada – One in ever 79 housing units
  2. Arizona – One in every 169 housing units
  3. Florida – One in every 174 housing units
  4. California – One in every 186 housing units
  5. Michigan – One in every 223 housing units

The CEO of RealtyTrac stated above that he thinks the foreclosure rate is “leveling off”, which I would certainly hope is true….I don’t know how we can possibly sustain it continuing to increase. I think it is important to note though, we are talking about the rate leveling off at record-high levels and there is no indication the rate is going to drop anytime soon, therefore it is going to be a while before the aftershock of this wears off. Mortgage defaults, the “fuel” for the foreclosure rate, are starting to show signs of leveling off as well but until we see the default rate drop and continue to trend downward we will not see a significant or meaningful downward trend in the foreclosure rate.


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