RealtyTrac released yesterday its Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 3,825,637 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on a record 2,871,891 U.S. properties in 2010, an increase of nearly 2 percent from 2009 and an increase of 23 percent from 2008.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 799,064 U.S. properties in the fourth quarter, a 14 percent decrease from the previous quarter and an 8 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2009. The fourth quarter total was the lowest quarterly total since Q4 2008.
“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” says James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million — will likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011.”
Foreclosure filings were reported on 257,747 U.S. properties in December, a decrease of nearly 2 percent from the previous month and down 26 percent from December 2009 — the biggest annual drop in foreclosure activity since RealtyTrac began publishing its foreclosure report in January 2005 and giving December the lowest monthly total since June 2008.
December Default notices (NOD, LIS) decreased 4 percent from the previous month and were down 35 percent from December 2009; Scheduled foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) decreased 3 percent from the previous month and were down 20 percent from December 2009; and bank repossessions (REO) increased nearly 4 percent from the previous month — thanks in part to substantial month-over-month increases in some states such as Nevada (71 percent increase), Arizona (52 percent increase) and California (47 percent increase) — but were still down 24 percent from December 2009.
Five states accounted for 51 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity in 2010: California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan. Together these five states documented nearly 1.5 million properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the year despite annual decreases in the three states with the most foreclosure activity.
After California, Florida posted the nation’s second biggest total in 2010, with 485,286 properties receiving a foreclosure filing — a 6 percent decrease from 2009. Florida foreclosure activity in December hit the lowest monthly level since July 2007, down 22 percent from the previous month and down nearly 54 percent from December 2009.