Inquiring minds are seeing CNN.com’s report that the foreclosure filings plunged in January…but there is a problem with the data. The number of homes receiving foreclosure filings (default notices, auctions and repossessions) fell 17% in January compared to a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported on Thursday. That’s good but that is still 261,333 properties and an increase of 1% compared to December:
“We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “This is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”
This first quarter of the year is already predicted to have an increasing number of foreclosures…mostly because the percentage of underwater homes have now increased:
“We expect a spike in the first quarter,” said Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac spokesman. “If we don’t get that, it could mean that the foreclosures are being pushed back even more and that the time needed for recovery will be prolonged.”
Making matters worse, the number of people who are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth — rose to 27% in December, according to Zillow.com.
This number is incredibly high, especially this late into a housing downturn. Considering that we are now 5 years into this current crisis, historically prices should be reasonably stable. Yet, prices continue to fall.
Please read the entire article. This is only a taste of the overall information in it.
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