Two real estate tracking firms offer sobering news about foreclosure activity for the region, state and nation.
Bank repossessions jumped a record 35 percent in the U.S. for the first quarter over a year ago, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. As well, the number of households facing foreclosure jumped 16 percent over that same period, and increased 7 percent from the last quarter of 2009.
“We’re right now on pace to see more than 1 million bank repossessions this year,” Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac senior vice president, told the Associated Press.
The number of foreclosure filings, more than 367,000, was the highest since the company began issuing its report in 2005.
Sharga said banks have begun processing distressed inventory that had been delayed due to various state and federal aid programs for homeowners. “We expect the pace to accelerate as the year goes on,” he said.
A few days earlier a report by ForeclosureRadar pointed to a huge increase in California foreclosure auctions — 19,308 in March compared to 10,295 a year earlier. Nearly eight in 10 sales resulted in the property being taken back by a lender, with the remainder sold to investors.
“Despite efforts to promote foreclosure alternatives like loan modifications and short sales, the simple reality is that there isn’t a program for everyone” says Sean O’Toole, ForeclosureRadar founder and CEO. “Unravelling trillions in excess debt will take time, and foreclosure is part of the solution, not the problem.”
ForeclosureRadar’s data for Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties generally showed default notices down and mixed results for foreclosure notices compared to a year ago.
For default notices, Sonoma reported 410 in March and 558 for March 2009. For Lake the numbers were 82 and 152, and in Mendocino, 53 and 70.
For trustee sales notices, Sonoma reported 363 for March and 355 for March 2009. The numbers for Lake were 94 and 108, and for Mendocino, 53 and 42.
Sonoma reported 168 properties taken back by the banks in March, compared to 103 a year ago. Lake reported 7 and none a year ago. Mendocino reported none for both time periods.
— Robert Digitale
Please follow me on Twitter @rdigit.