Foreclosure statistics have been positive by and large for the last two to three years. Nearly all numbers have experienced across-the-board decreases as states are clearing out their backlog of foreclosed residential properties and the U.S. economy continues to recover from the crisis of seven years ago. According to Black Knight Financial Services, however, one stat experienced an increase – foreclosure starts jumped by 5.5 percent year-over-year in January up to their highest level since December 2013.
January's spike in foreclosure starts is likely attributed more to seasonality than any type of pattern that may be forming, according to Black Knight's SVP of Loan Data Products, Trey Barnes, who stated that, "While January did see a 12-month high in foreclosure starts, the data doesn’t seem to suggest that this is indicative of any sort of long term trend at this point in time. In fact, it’s likely more a matter of seasonality than anything, as we’ve seen January increases in starts for three of the last four years."
The Federal Reserve announced it approved of the capital plans of 28 out of the 31 financial firms that participated in its recently-conducted Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. Several of the nation's largest financial firms, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, announced their intention to raise the price of their common stock dividends following the Fed's approval of their respective capital plans.