Foreclosures Rise in Third Quarter

help sign painted on a foreclosed home

Foreclosure notices were reported on nearly 1-million U.S. residential properties in the third quarter, marking a five percent increase from the second quarter, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 136 residential properties received a foreclosure notice in the last three months.

Some 937,840 properties had foreclosure notice filings. However, notices dropped four percent in September from numbers in August. Ten-million foreclosures are forecast through 2012 by Housing Predictor, and as many as 25-million foreclosures are possible as more homeowners walk away from their properties. “Bank repossessions or REOs jumped 21% from the second quarter to the third quarter,” said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

“REO activity increased from the previous quarter in all but two states and the District of Columbia indicating lenders may be starting to work through some of the pent-up foreclosure inventory caused by legislative delays, loan modification efforts and high volumes of distressed properties,” said Saccacio.

Six states account for 62% of the nation’s foreclosure activity. California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois and Michigan, which were all heavily targeted by national mortgage lenders during the real estate boom account for the largest majority of foreclosure notices. More Option Arms were sold in the hardest hit states than any others, accounting for the highest rates of foreclosures.

California alone accounted for 250,054 notices during the period or 27% of the national total. The foreclosure epidemic decreased less than 1% in Florida with 156,924 filings during the quarter.

For more than a year Nevada has retained the highest foreclosure rate. One in 23 residential units received foreclosure notices in the quarter, six times the national average. REO activity in Nevada increased 29% in the third quarter, much of which represents especially high foreclosures in Las Vegas.

Arizona posted the country’s second highest foreclosure figure for the quarter with one in every 53 housing units. California gained the third highest rate of foreclosure notices with one in every 53 homes receiving notices. Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado and Illinois also rank in the top ten states for distress property notices.

Barring major federal government intervention to slash the number of foreclosures as many as 25-million foreclosures are possible through the epidemic as more homeowners select to walk away from their mortgages, lacking equity in their homes for a reason to stay.

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