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Bank Repossessions Push Foreclosure Activity 1% Higher

By Allison Halliday | June 19, 2015

RealtyTrac recently released its May 2015 US Foreclosure Market Report which shows 126,868 US properties were subject to foreclosure filings, scheduled auctions, default notices and bank repossessions in May this year. This is an increase of 1% compared to the previous month and is 16% higher than a year ago, reaching a 19 month high.

The increase in May was largely due to a greater number of bank repossessions as there were 44,892 for this month. This was down 1% compared to the previous month but increased by 58% compared to a year earlier. There was also a 5% year-over-year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions. The report also showed that REOs increased year on year for the third consecutive month and scheduled foreclosure auctions have increased year on year for four out of the last eight months. Although the number of REOs in May was a 56% lower than the peak reached in September 2013, when figures reached 102,134, they were still nearly twice the averages recorded in 2005 and 2006 before the housing crisis hit in August 2006.

Depressed Senior Couple in Front of Foreclosure Real Estate Sign and House.

While the numbers of homeowners entering into the foreclosure process is stabilizing now and is at pre-housing crisis levels, the numbers actually losing their homes to foreclosure are still on the increase. This is due to lenders and courts pushing through cases that have finely exhausted all the possible options for avoiding foreclosure.

Overall, 38 states and the District of Columbia saw year-over-year increases in REOs. Figures were up by 31% in California, by 62% in Maryland, by 63% in Michigan and Florida, by 106% in Pennsylvania, by 108% in Georgia, by 114% in Ohio, by 116% in New York and by a massive 197% in New Jersey.

In May a total of 51,414 properties began the foreclosure process for the first time, a drop of 1% compared to the previous month but an increase of 4% compared to a year earlier. This comes after four consecutive months of year on year decreases. In spite of these increases the numbers of foreclosure starts are still below pre-crisis levels in 2005 and 2006 when they were at an average of 52,279 a month.

There were a total of 49,413 properties that were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in May. These figures were up by 6% compared to the previous month and by 5% from a year earlier. At the moment the numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions for this year are about 40% higher than pre-crisis levels in 2005 and 2006.

To read the complete report, please click here.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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