Foreclosure activity in December varied in five Western states tracked by ForeclosureRadar — perhaps because loan servicers are faced with different laws in each state as they work to put robo-signing issues behind them, the company said.

ForeclosureRadar, which tracks homes through each stage of the foreclosure process, said foreclosure starts declined during December in Arizona, California and Washington, were flat in Nevada, and increased in Oregon.

Foreclosure sales, on the other hand, were down in Arizona and Oregon, flat in California, and up in Nevada and Washington.

Foreclosure activity in December varied in five Western states tracked by ForeclosureRadar — perhaps because loan servicers are faced with different laws in each state as they work to put robo-signing issues behind them, the company said.

ForeclosureRadar, which tracks homes through each stage of the foreclosure process, said foreclosure starts declined during December in Arizona, California and Washington, were flat in Nevada, and increased in Oregon.

Foreclosure sales, on the other hand, were down in Arizona and Oregon, flat in California, and up in Nevada and Washington.

Nationwide, foreclosure-related filings dropped 8 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter, to a two-year low, data aggregator RealtyTrac said in another report out this week.

RealtyTrac views the drop as temporary, attributing it to controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings.

"Servicers appear to have their hands full and it may be a while before foreclosure activity stabilizes," said Sean O’Toole, CEO and founder of ForeclosureRadar, in a statement. "While it seems unlikely at the moment, it is our hope that 2011 will bring clarity to the foreclosures process for all involved."

California

In California, ForeclosureRadar found notice of default filings were down nearly 17 percent from November to December, and almost 21 percent from a year ago, to 21,510. Notice of sale filings were essentially flat at 28,825, the company said.

Foreclosure cancellations — which are sometimes the result of a successful loan modification or short sale, but which can also be caused by filing errors or extended postponements — were down 8 percent from November and 18 percent from a year ago, to 10,874.

ForeclosureRadar found lenders repossessed 9,271 California homes in December, about the same number as they did in November but down nearly 39 percent from the high for the year seen in September. Sales to third parties totaled 2,140, down 8 percent from November and 18 percent from a year ago.

Lenders finished the year with 110,000 homes in their real estate owned (REO) inventories, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago. The number of homes scheduled for auction was down nearly 14 percent from a year ago, to 129,000, and a total of 128,000 homes were in the beginning stages of the foreclosure process, a 6 percent drop from November and a 9 percent reduction from the same time a year ago.

Arizona

In Arizona, notice of sale filings were down 33 percent from a year ago, to 7,428. There were 3,682 sale cancellations — up nearly 18 percent from the same time a year ago.

But the number of homes repossessed by banks (3,935) and sold to third parties (905) were both up from November, a sign that loan servicers were putting the robo-signing controversy behind them.

Banks added nearly 18 percent more homes to their REO inventories in December than in November, although repossessions were down nearly 13 percent from a year ago. Sales to third parties in Arizona were up 14 percent from November and more than 12 percent from a year ago.

Lenders finished the year with 31,160 Arizona properties in their REO inventories, down nearly 2 percent from November but a 34 percent increase from the same time a year ago. There were 57,392 homes in foreclosure and scheduled for sale, down nearly 3 percent from November and off nearly 9 percent from a year ago.

Nevada

ForeclosureRadar found that while notices of default were down nearly 31 percent from a year ago in Nevada, to 5,808, notices of sale were up 88 percent, to 6,734. Notice of sale filings were still down nearly 6 percent from a peak of 7,370 in March.

Foreclosure cancellations were up nearly 40 percent from November, back to levels seen a year ago. The number of homes repossessed by banks was up 24 percent from November and nearly 45 percent from a year ago, to 1,892. Sales to third parties also jumped more than 24 percent month-over-month and nearly 28 percent from a year ago, to 434.

Lenders finished the year with 15,703 homes in their REO inventories, down about 2 percent from November but up nearly 18 percent from a year ago. The number of homes scheduled for sale — 17,113 — was up 7 percent from November and nearly 53 percent from a year ago.

The number of homes still in the early stages of the foreclosure process climbed more than 24 percent from November, to 44,531 — still 6 percent less than the same time a year ago.

Oregon

Oregon saw notice of default filings climb more than 18 percent from November, to 1,664, a level that was nonetheless down 19 percent from a year ago. Notices of sale climbed more than 7 percent month-to-month, to 927, but were down 40 percent from a year ago.

Banks took back 336 homes, down nearly 21 percent from November and more than 36 percent from a year ago. There were nearly twice as many foreclosure cancellations — 715 — although cancellations were down 2 percent from the previous month and 9 percent from a year ago. Sales to third parties were down 23 percent in December, numbering only 20, a 61 percent decline from a year ago.

Lenders finished the year with 4,634 Oregon homes in their REO inventories, down nearly 5 percent from November but a 45 percent increase from a year ago.

The 2,873 homes scheduled for sale represented an 8 percent drop from November and a 13 percent decline from a year ago. The number of homes in the early stages of the foreclosure process fell 8 percent from November, to 6,859, but that was 6 percent more homes than counted at the same time a year ago.

Washington

In Washington state, notice of sale filings dropped 20 percent from month-to-month, totaling 2,228, a level more than 8 percent below that of a year ago.

Banks took back 1,180 homes, up 15 percent from November and 24 percent from a year ago. Foreclosure cancellations were also up nearly 13 percent from November, to 1,887, about the same level as a year ago. Sales to third parties were up 15 percent from the previous month, but totaled only 137, down 16 percent from a year ago.

Lenders finished the year with 11,561 Washington homes in their REO inventories, a new high for the year and an increase of nearly 60 percent from the same time a year ago. The total number of homes scheduled for sale was also up 37 percent from a year ago, to 14,885, a 6 percent drop from November.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We've updated our terms of use.Read them here×