Created on: February 14, 2013
United States foreclosure filings in the month of January fell to their lowest level since April 2007 when the housing collapse started, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data.
The organization published its Foreclosure Market Report for Jan. 2013 and found notices of default, scheduled auctions, bank repossessions and other filings declined to 150,864. This is an 11 percent drop from the previous month and a 28 percent decrease from Jan. 2012. Meanwhile, new foreclosure filings fell to their lowest level since Jun. 2006.
Much of the national decrease in foreclosure statistics was largely in part due to the reduction in California notices of default (NOD) last month, which is down nearly two-thirds (62 percent) from December and down exactly three-quarters from Jan. 2012.
“The U.S. foreclosure landscape in January was profoundly altered by the effects of new legislation that took effect in California on the first of the year," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a release. “Dubbed the Homeowners Bill of Rights, this legislation extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement - including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure - to all mortgage servicers operating in California.”
The legislation also consists of fines up to $7,500 per loan for submitting multiple unverified foreclosure documents.
“For the first time since January 2007 California did not have the most properties with foreclosure filings of any state. Instead that dubious distinction went to Florida, where January foreclosure activity increased on an annual basis for the 11th time in the last 13 months,” added Blomquist in the media release.
Other important findings included the increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions from January in 26 states and the District of Columbia, which hit one-year or more highs in key judicial states, like Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, some of the largest year-to-year increases in foreclosure starts occurred in non-judicial states where legislation or court rulings stalled foreclosure auctions in 2012. These states were Arkansas (539 percent increase), Washington (179 percent increase), and Nevada (87 percent increase).
The states with the highest foreclosure rates in the country were Florida (one in 300 housing units), Nevada (one in 344 housing units), Illinois (one in 375 housing units), Arizona (one in 501 housing units), Georgia (one in 513 housing units), Ohio (one in 612 housing units), Washington (one in 674 housing units), California (one in 753 housing units), Indiana (one in 784 housing units) and Michigan (one in 837 housing units).
Florida also accounted for having six of the top 10 city foreclosure rates: Ocala (No. 1), Miami (No. 2), Orlando (No. 3), Jacksonville (No. 8), Tampa (No. 9) and Lakeland (No. 10).
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