The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Fewer US homes repossessed by lenders in January, but some states could see foreclosure surge

  • Print

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Lenders repossessed fewer U.S. homes in January, bringing the number of completed foreclosures down to the lowest level in more than six years.

Even so, many states posted sharp increases in the number of homes entering the foreclosure process for the first time, a trend that raises the likelihood that those states will see a surge in foreclosed homes later this year.

Banks took back 30,226 homes last month, a drop of 4 per cent from December, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Completed foreclosures were down 40 per cent from January last year to the lowest level since July 2007, the firm said.

A dozen states posted annual increases in foreclosures, including New York, Oklahoma, Connecticut and New Jersey.

While foreclosures remain elevated in many populous states, they have been steadily on the wane since the U.S. housing market and economy began to rebound after years of decline.

The U.S. housing market has emerged from a deep slump, aided by rising home prices, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. Meanwhile, more homeowners are keeping up with their mortgage payments.

That's led to fewer homes entering the foreclosure pipeline on a national level.

In some states, however, there is a backlog of homes with mortgages gone unpaid. Typically these are states like New York and Florida, where the courts play a role in the foreclosure process. In other states, like California and Nevada, laws aimed at stalling foreclosures have extended the time it takes for the process to play out.

As a result, some of those homes with mortgages gone unpaid are only now entering the foreclosure process or being scheduled for auction.

"We're going to have this year some states that are still seeing the last surges in foreclosure activity because of continued delays in the process," said Daren Blomquist, a vice-president at RealtyTrac. "Not even an improving economy may help a lot of these."

Last month, 22 states posted annual increases in homes that got started on the path to foreclosure. Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey and California had the biggest increases. In California, foreclosure starts rose on an annual basis for the first time in more than a year.

All told, banks initiated foreclosure actions against 57,259 U.S. homes last month, a 10 per cent jump from December, RealtyTrac said. Foreclosure starts typically pick up in January after slowing in December. They were down 12 per cent from a year ago.

Many of these homes are likely to begin making their way through the foreclosure process this year, Blomquist said.

That said, Blomquist said he expects that completed foreclosures will decline nationally this year from 2013, when they totalled 462,970.

Foreclosures peaked in 2010 at 1.05 million and have been declining ever since.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Chief justices breakdown cameras in courtroom project

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.
  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google