Slowing Foreclosures Still Portend Long Crisis
The numbers of properties in some stage of the foreclosure process has dropped 35% year over year, according to RealtyTrac.
But the firm that specializes in the market for foreclosed real estate said this merely represents a further slowdown in processing the numbers of properties owned by people who cannot afford them.
“July foreclosure activity dropped 35% from a year ago, marking the 10th straight month of year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity and the lowest monthly total since November 2007,” said RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio.
“This string of decreases was initially triggered by the robo-signing controversy back in October 2010, which forced lenders to substantially slow the pace of foreclosing, but the downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken on a life of its own,” Saccacio said.
“It appears that the foreclosure processing delays, combined with the smorgasbord of national and state-level foreclosure prevention efforts — including loan modifications, lender-borrower mediations and mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed — may be allowing more distressed homeowners to stave off foreclosure,” he added.
“Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond,” Saccacio continued. “A stabilizing economy and improving job market are the long-term keys to a housing market recovery."