After a jump in August, foreclosures begin again

New foreclosure actions in states along the country’s West Coast returned to levels in line with prior months during September, according to ForeclosureRadar, a California-based company that tracks every foreclosure in its five-state coverage area.

The leveling off in September follows a strong surge in foreclosure starts during the month of August in the western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, and puts new foreclosure tallies far below the numbers seen at the peak of each state’s foreclosure activity.

ForeclosureRadar reports California has seen a drop in activity of 56 percent since its peak, from 58,623 notice of default filings in March of 2009 to 25,778 today.

Arizona shows a similar swing in notice of trustee sale filings, from 14,722 in March of 2009 to 5,982 filings last month – a decrease of 59.4 percent.

Washington has experienced the greatest decline of all, with 71.5 percent fewer notice of trustee sale filings today than at their peak in June of 2009.

Foreclosure sales were mixed last month, with declines in Arizona, California, and Nevada, while Oregon and Washington both showed increases.

Despite declines in three of the five states, ForeclosureRadar notes that the percentage of foreclosure sales that went to third parties, typically investors, was at or near peak levels.

In California, third parties purchased a record 27.4 percent of all foreclosure sales last month.

In Arizona, that number was even higher at 38.3 percent, also a record.

Nevada was just shy of its record, set in August at 29.1 percent.

Sales to third parties in Washington were up 15.6 percent, a record for this year.

Oregon was the only state to show a decrease, down from 15.5 percent in July to 6.0 percent last month.

“While foreclosure activity returned to its normal course in September, we fully expect to see more volatility like we saw in August as banks continue to work in fits and starts through robo-signing and other issues,” said Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar.

“It’s almost unfathomable that four years into this crisis there would still be so much uncertainty on how to best deal with the trillions in bad mortgage debt that was created during the credit bubble,” O’Toole added.

ForeclosureRadar provides a breakdown of activity during the month of September for each of the five states included in its coverage area below.

Arizona’s Foreclosure Market:
Foreclosure Starts: 5,982 (-24.2%)
Foreclosure Sales: 4,190 (-11.6%)
Foreclosure Timeframe: 149 days (-14.7%)

California’s Foreclosure Market:
Foreclosure Starts: 25,777 (-20.9%)
Foreclosure Sales: 11,513 (-23.3%)
Foreclosure Timeframe: 319 days (-3.9%)

Nevada’s Foreclosure Market:
Foreclosure Starts: 4,470 (-29.5%)
Foreclosure Sales: 2,065 (-20.3%)
Foreclosure Timeframe: 374 days (+1.6%)

Oregon’s Foreclosure Market:
Foreclosure Starts: 1,249 (-5.7%)
Foreclosure Sales: 858 (+5.4%)
Foreclosure Timeframe: 298 days (+0.4%)

Washington’s Foreclosure Market:
Foreclosure Starts: 1,383 (-40.9%)
Foreclosure Sales: 1,618 (+12.3%)
Foreclosure Timeframe: 103 days (-0.9%)

This article is by Carrie Bay, of DSNews.com: “After Big Jump in August, Foreclosure Starts on West Coast Fall Again“.

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