RealtyTrac released Thursday its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January, revealing an 8% monthly increase in foreclosure filings to 125,000--the biggest month-to-month increase since May 2012. On an annual basis, January filings were down 18%, the 40th straight month of year-over-year declines.
According to the company, last month's elevated activity was driven by double-digit increases in both foreclosure starts and in scheduled foreclosure auctions. Starts in January totaled more than 57,000, up 10% from December, while auctions rose 13%.
Another report from the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency says the agency hasn't provided enough oversight of its Servicing Alignment Initiative for Fannie and Freddie. The SAI was launched in 2011 to improve servicers' performance on GSE loans, but the inspector general's examination of the program since then finds there has been little to no review of compliance or performance goals since that time. In a response, the FHFA indicated it plans to continue with its current oversight approach.