September 2010 Foreclosure Report

September 2010 Foreclosure Report

Foreclosure Sales & REO Inventories Rise

Foreclosure sales increased throughout our coverage area in September, as did the inventory of Bank Owned properties. A state-by-state summary for Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington can be found below, and you can drill down to view detailed charts at the state, county, city, and zip code level using the provided links. Five major lenders made announcements last week that they would be suspending certain foreclosure activities in various states. These lenders included Ally (GMAC), JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Litton, and PNC. While this report is primarily focused on September foreclosure activity, it is important to note that we have yet to see any impact on foreclosure sales within our coverage area through Friday, October 8, 2010, by these lenders. This is not completely unexpected as the majority of these announcements were limited to 23 judicial foreclosure states that do not include Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington. We will continue to monitor activity by these lenders and post updates to our blog at

"We regularly see lenders make minor mistakes in foreclosure filings," says Sean O'Toole, CEO, and Founder of "But the reality is that far more homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments than are even in foreclosure. The clear problem in the housing market today is not foreclosures, but negative equity, and as long as the focus remains on the symptom rather than the disease we will see little progress towards real solutions, and this crisis will drag on for years to come."


The inventory of Bank Owned (REO) properties has been steadily rising for the last year in Arizona, up 4.3 percent from August to September, and 67.9 percent year-over-year. This is partially explained by the increase in foreclosure sales that went Back to the Bank, up 3.1 percent from August, and 61.2 percent from the prior year; with a sharper rise in inventory, as REO resales slowed after the expiration of the tax credit. Notice of Trustee Sale filings dropped for the 2nd month in a row, down 8.9 percent in September and 12.5 percent from a year earlier. 


The number of foreclosures Sold to 3rd parties, typically investors, declined 15.6 percent in September. Most foreclosure investors flip the properties they purchase after taking care of title, occupancy, and repairs. This process is taking 44.5 percent longer than it did a year ago, up from 95 days to 137. The number of foreclosure sales that went back to the bank was up 4.9 percent, while the total inventory of Bank Owned (REO) properties increased by 5.3 percent as REO resales slowed. Notice of Trustee Sale filings declined 17.2 percent while Notice of Default filings was essentially flat with a decrease of 1.9 percent. 


Foreclosure sales jumped dramatically in September, increasing by 39.2 percent from August to September. The number of foreclosure sales purchased by 3rd parties was essentially flat with an increase of just 1.1 percent, while the majority went back to the bank, leading to an 8.0 percent increase in the inventory of Bank Owned (REO) properties. Nevada foreclosures filings were mixed with Notices of Default filings down 8.8 percent and Notices of Trustee Sale filings up 6.5 percent in September.


Foreclosure sales continue to climb in Oregon, up 18.5 percent from August and 88.9 percent from the prior year to a record 967 sales. The vast majority of these sales, 94.3 percent, failed to receive a bid from a 3rd party and went back to the bank as REO inventory to be resold later. Despite a 16.6 percent drop in the number of Notice of Trustee Sale filings, the number of foreclosures scheduled for sale remained flat, increasing just 0.6 percent, as new filings still slightly outpaced the combination of foreclosure sales and cancellations.


A record 2,007 properties were foreclosed on in September in Washington, up 19.0 percent from August, and 55.2 percent from the prior year. Just 7.3 percent of foreclosures sales were purchased by 3rd party investors, with the remaining going back to the bank increasing the inventory of Bank Owned (REO) properties by 10.9 percent. Notice of Trustee Sale filings dropped for the second month, down 15.2 percent from August, but still up 33.9 percent year-over-year. 

State Notice of Default Notice of Sale Back to Bank Sold to 3rd Party
Arizona n/a -8.9% +3.1% -8.9%
California -1.9% -17.2% +4.9% -15.6%
Nevada -8.8% +6.5% +50.4% +1.1%
Oregon -1.1% -16.7% +18.8% +13.0%
Washington n/a -15.2% +21.4% -6.4%

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