Indicating a revival of the housing market, the foreclosure
market report - released by RealtyTrac - revealed that the
overall foreclosure activity in Feb 2013 showed a downward trend
on-year-over year basis. As per this leading online marketplace
of foreclosure properties, foreclosure filings plunged 25% from
Feb 2012 but increased 2% from Jan 2013. This brought the
aggregate number of properties receiving default, auction or
repossession notices to 154,281.
Foreclosure starts - default notices issued and foreclosure
auctions (depending on the state's foreclosure procedure) -
declined 25% from Feb 2012 but rose 10% from Jan 2013 to 71,488
properties in the reported month. Bank repossessions (REOs)
plunged 29% from the prior-year month and 11% from the last month
to 45,038 properties. This was the lowest level since Sep 2007.
The top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were Fla.,
Nev., Ill., Ohio, Wash., Md., Ariz., Ga., Utah and Mich.
Moreover, the drop in overall foreclosure activity was a result
of the switching of mortgage servicers and the government to
other options to prevent foreclosures. Yet, the dip is expected
to be at an uneven pace, as processes that are being used in
handling these vary from state to state.
Foreclosure activity is expected to rise in the judicial states
as the states have substantial backlogs to clear. Further, as the
major lenders -
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Bank of America Corporation
), Ally Financial Inc. and
Wells Fargo & Company
) - adjust to the new rules set under the National Mortgage
Settlement as well as several other state laws, foreclosure
activity is bound to rise in the following months.
Yet, we believe that the stabilizing housing sector is likely to
aid homeowners to avoid foreclosures in the near term. Also, the
rate at which properties are entering the foreclosure procedure
is expected to trend down gradually, lifting the housing prices
going forward. Moreover, the housing market will get an
opportunity to regain a strong foothold if there are sufficient
buyers for these properties.
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