Bank Repos at New High in May, While Foreclosure Filings Ease

Bank owned propertiesForeclosure filings in May were reported on 322,920 U.S. properties, a 3 percent decrease from the previous month but a 1 percent increase from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s monthly report.
It was the 15th straight month of foreclosure filings exceeding 300,000.
Although overall filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – seem to be leveling off, there are also signs of a stubborn foreclosure crisis.
Bank repossessions – also known as REOs – hit a record monthly high for the second month in a row in May, with a total of 93,777 properties repossessed by lenders — an increase of 1 percent from the previous month and an leap of 44 percent from May 2009.
“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, Saccacio said.
This creates 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,” he said.
Nevada still carries the nation’s highest foreclosure rate despite a nearly 12 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month and a 16 percent decrease from May 2009. The state’s foreclosure rate was more than five times the national average.
See RealtyTrac’s foreclosure filing data by state.

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