Backlog Eases as Foreclosure Starts, Sales Surge in January

Foreclosure starts and sales spiked in the first month of 2012 – up about 28 and 29 percent respectively – indicating that the backlog caused by servicer reviews of botched paperwork is abating.
In January, 47 percent of all foreclosure starts were repeat foreclosures, an all-time high for that category, according to the latest monthly report  from Lender Processing Services.
The contrast between judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states remains stark, reports LPS. In judicial states, foreclosures take longer to run their course through the court system.
While foreclosure inventories in judicial states still far outweigh those in non-judicial states, the recent surge in foreclosure sales is having a major affect on “pipeline ratios” – the length of time a foreclosure runs its course.
Even in judicial states, the average pipeline ratio is now at 63 months, though still more than twice as high as non-judicial states. This is down from a high of 147 months at its peak in February of 2011.
“While one month of data does not necessarily indicate a trend, this surge could suggest the backlogged foreclosure pipeline is beginning to move,” LPS said in a statement.
Here are other key results from LPS’ latest Mortgage Monitor report:

Total U.S. loan delinquency rate:​ 7.97 %​
Month-over-month change in delinquency rate:​ -2.2%​
Total U.S foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate:​ 4.15%​
Month-over-month change in foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate:​ 1.1%​
States with highest percentage of non-current* loans:​ Florida, Mississippi, Nevada,
New Jersey, Illinois​
States with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans:​ Montana, Alaska, Wyoming,
South Dakota, North Dakota​

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.

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