Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, January 12, 2012, 6:30 AM
There is a lot of great data in RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report but the key is this:
“Foreclosures were in full delay mode in 2011, resulting in a dramatic drop in foreclosure activity for the year,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “The lack of clarity regarding many of the documentation and legal issues plaguing the foreclosure industry means that we are continuing to see a highly dysfunctional foreclosure process that is inefficiently dealing with delinquent mortgages — particularly in states with a judicial foreclosure process. “There were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that lenders are finally beginning to push through some of the delayed foreclosures in select local markets. We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011, though still below the peak of 2010.”
All the prognostications about declining foreclosures as some sort of sign of strength in a particular housing market were simply myopic. This announcement isn’t “new” news – its more about confirmation that more volume is coming.
Gotta love New York State – if there is one way to prolong the housing downturn, keep credit tight and depress prices, it’s government intervention to slow the process down:
The average foreclosure process in New York has increased 37 percent during the same time period, and New York properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter took an average of 1,019 days to complete the foreclosure process — the longest of any state.