Bank Repos Up in July, But Foreclosure Filings Down 32% from Year Ago

Bank Repos Up in July, But Foreclosure Filings Down 32% from Year AgoBank repossessions increased in July from the previous month in 29 states and were up from a year ago in 18 states, according to RealtyTrac’s latest update.
Some of the biggest gains in bank repos: Arkansas (up 266 percent), Oklahoma (up 126 percent), Maryland (up 101 percent), New York (up 100 percent), Connecticut (up 67 percent), New Jersey (up 40 percent), and Ohio (up 20 percent).
However, the overall snapshot of the foreclosure crisis when compared to year-ago data is more encouraging.
Foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 130,888 U.S. properties in July, an rise of 2 percent from the 78-month low in June, according to RealtyTrac’s latest update.
But the last month’s figure is down 32 percent from July 2012.
U.S. foreclosure activity in July is 64 percent below the peak of more than 367,000 properties with foreclosure filings in March 2010.
That’s still 54 percent above the historical average of 85,000 properties with foreclosure filings per month before the housing bubble burst in late 2006.
Foreclosures are continuing to “boil over in a select group of markets” where state legislation and court rulings kept a lid on foreclosure activity during the worst of the housing crisis, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.
But, “the foreclosure boil-over markets are becoming fewer and farther between as lenders have caught up with the backlog of delayed foreclosures in some of the states with the more lengthy judicial foreclosure process,” Blomquist said.
For example, he said, Illinois foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for eight consecutive months following 11 straight months of annual increases, and Ohio has seen three consecutive months with annual decreases following eight straight months with annual increases.
The monthly increase in U.S. foreclosure activity was driven by a 6 percent monthly increase in foreclosure starts and a 4 percent monthly increase in bank repossessions (REO), although both metrics decreased from a year ago.
Foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 15 states, including Maryland (up 275 percent), Oregon (up 137 percent), New Jersey (up 89 percent), Connecticut (up 37 percent), and New York (up 27 percent).
The states with the top six foreclosure rates in July were in states with a judicial foreclosure process, although two of those top six states posted decreasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Ohio (down 18 percent) and Illinois (down 44 percent).
Florida, Maryland, Ohio Post Top State Foreclosure Rates
Florida posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month in July — more than three times the national average.
Florida foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from the previous month and was up 7 percent from a year ago. Florida foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in 16 of the last 19 months. The state’s scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 74 percent from a year ago and bank repossessions increased 13 percent from a year ago.
Maryland documented the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in July — the highest foreclosure rate ranking for the state since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005. A total of 3,962 Maryland properties had foreclosure filings during the month, an increase of 148 percent from a year ago
Arizona’s foreclosure rate dropped out of the top 10 highest for the first time since February 2007, joining California’s foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the sixth consecutive month in July, and Michigan’s foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the fifth consecutive month in July.
Nine of the nation’s 10 highest metro foreclosure rates in July were in Florida cities, and five of those nine Florida cities posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago.
Bank Repos Up in July, But Foreclosure Filings Down 32% from Year Ago

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