California foreclosure filings — Notices of Default plus Notices of Trustee Sale — increased 4.0 percent in March, but were down 59.3 percent in the past twelve months. Foreclosure filings have been on a steady downtrend since March 2009 as government agencies have rolled out an ever-increasing array of programs to lengthen the foreclosure process or provide alternatives such as short sales, principal balance reduction loan modifications, second-lien extinguishment, and other forms of debt relief.
While foreclosures have been declining over a longer period of time, distressed property sales (short sales and bank REO resales of single-family residences and condominiums) are still more than 50 percent of total California real estate sales and will remain an important part of the state’s real estate landscape for some time to come.
Notices of Default up 14.2 Percent
Notices of Default (NOD), the first stage of the foreclosure process, rose 14.2 percent in March. More importantly, NODs are up 72.5 percent since January, suggesting that some of the regulation-driven decline in foreclosures toward the end of last year reversed course. While the gain since the beginning of the year was large in percentage terms, the longer-term downtrend has held firm. The March 2013 NODs were at their third-lowest level since we began tracking the data in September 2006. Over the past twelve months, NODs declined 63.8 percent.
Notices of Trustee Sale edged lower in March, falling 4.0 percent from February and 54.1 percent over the past twelve months.
Foreclosure Sales Down 0.9 Percent
Meanwhile, foreclosure sales in March totaled 4,167, down 0.9 percent since February for the month and 50.7 percent for the year. If we split March foreclosure sales into their respective components — Sold to Third Party and Bank to Bank (RE0) — Sold to Third-party sales were down 25.9 percent over the past twelve months, while REOs declined 65.9 percent.
Note: Total foreclosure sales equal the sum of Sold to 3rd Party plus Back to Bank (REO).
Foreclosure Process Grows to More than 300 Days
Government programs such as HAMP, HARP, the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement, and the California Homeowners Bill of Rights have steadily lengthened the state’s foreclosure process to more than 300 days. Since the beginning of the year, the time to foreclose has jumped to 350 days for homes sold to third parties and 302 days for homes sold back to banks (REOs).
California Foreclosure Stats and Trends:
Foreclosure Starts: 8,410 (-14.2%)
Foreclosure Sales: 4,167 (+0.9%)
Time to Foreclose: 321 days (+9.6%)
Arizona Foreclosure Stats and Trends:
Foreclosure Starts: 2,713 (-12.8%)
Foreclosure Sales: 1,693 (+5.4%)
Time to Foreclose: 145 days (-2.0%)
Nevada Foreclosure Stats and Trends:
Foreclosure Starts: 2,398 (+5.1%)
Foreclosure Sales: 693 (+4.8%)
Time to Foreclose: 314 days (-4.0%)
Oregon Foreclosure Stats and Trends:
Foreclosure Starts: 72 (+9.1%)
Foreclosure Sales: 28 (-22.2%)
Time to Foreclose: 152 days (-6.2%)
Washington Foreclosure Stats and Trends:
Foreclosure Starts: 2,668 (-2.8%)
Foreclosure Sales: 1,621 (+28.3%)
Time to Foreclose: 128 days (0.0%)
Director of Economic Research
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+ | Pinterest | SlideShare | ForeclosureTruth
PropertyRadar.com features unprecedented tools to search, manage, track and analyze pre-foreclosure, foreclosure auction, short sale, and bank-owned real estate. ForeclosureRadar has been serving its customers for over four years and counts several thousand investors, Realtors®, government agencies, and other professionals among its subscribers.
PropertyRadar has been cited as an authoritative source by Bloomberg, 60 Minutes, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and other leading media outlets. The company was launched by Sean O’Toole in May 2007. Prior to starting ForeclosureRadar, Sean spent 15 years building and launching software companies before entering the foreclosure business in 2002. From 2002 through 2006 Sean successfully bought and sold more than 150 foreclosure properties. ForeclosureRadar is privately held and based in the North Lake Tahoe area.