Thursday, February 12, 2015

Report: Foreclosures Increase in January, "Clearing the deck"

by Bill McBride on 2/12/2015 07:14:00 PM

Note: Data from other sources suggest most of the loans on these properties were originated almost a decade ago.  Still "clearing the deck" after the storm.

From RealtyTrac: U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 5 Percent in January Driven By 15-Month High in Bank Repossessions

RealtyTrac® ... today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2015, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 119,888 U.S. properties in January, an increase of 5 percent from the previous month but still down 4 percent from a year ago.

The 5 percent monthly increase was driven primarily by a 55 percent monthly jump in bank repossessions (REOs) to a 15-month high. A total of 37,292 U.S. properties were repossessed by lenders in January, up 23 percent from a year ago to the highest monthly total since October 2013.
...
“Due to our ponderous judicial system, most of the options have been exhausted, and the judges are now expediting the process,” said Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, covering the South Florida market. “The banks recognize the opportunity in this improving market and are aggressively trying to remove these properties from their balance sheets. It is encouraging, after seven years, to see the end near on this dramatic cycle.”
...
“Our agents’ REO and distress business has wound considerably down over the last two years,” said Mark Hughes, Chief Operating Officer at First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market. “Despite a bit of an extension to this wind-down process due to delayed actions created by the Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2013, we are preparing that this is really a final push to clear the decks of the a still disproportionate amount of distressed homes and finally bring the market back to a more stability.”
emphasis added
Friday:
• At 10:00 AM ET, University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (preliminary for February). The consensus is for a reading of 98.5, up from 98.1 in January.