The number of foreclosure filings in the nation has increased month-over-month but declined year-over-year, according to RealtyTrac's monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August 2014 released today.
The RealtyTrac data showed that one in every 1,126 houses in the nation (a total of 116,193 properties) had a foreclosure filing during August. This number represented an increase of 7 percent from July but a decrease of 9 percent from August 2013. Foreclosure filings include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
The number of foreclosure auctions scheduled in August increased by 1 percent year-over-year after 44 consecutive months of annual declines, according to RealtyTrac. Month-over-month, scheduled auctions declined by 1 percent in August. In judicial states, where the foreclosure process must pass through the courts, scheduled auctions increased by 5 percent year-over-year. In all, 51,192 foreclosure auctions were scheduled nationwide in August.
"The August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "The annual increase in foreclosure auctions — the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked the foreclosure industry back in late 2010 — indicates mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new paradigms for proper foreclosure that have been implemented in many states, whether by legislation or litigation or both."
RealtyTrac reported that 24 states experienced a year-over-year increase in scheduled auctions, led by Colorado (160 percent), Oregon (117 percent), Connecticut and New York (81 percent each), and Oklahoma (72 percent).
For the second consecutive month, foreclosure starts increased month-over-month, making a 12 percent jump from July to August, according to RealtyTrac. The number stayed flat year-over-year, however. The foreclosure process started on more than 55,000 properties in August nationwide.
REO activity (lenders taking possession of property via foreclosure) fell by 33 percent annually in August, marking the 21st consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in nationwide REO activity, according to RealtyTrac. REO activity did inch upward by 2 percent from July to August, however. In all, foreclosure led to the repossession of 26,343 properties by lenders in August.
The state with the highest foreclosure rate for the 11th consecutive month was Florida, with one in every 400 housing units in August. Florida's rate was almost three times the national average of one in every 1,126 properties. Among metro areas with a population of more than 200,000, the area with the highest foreclosure rate in August was Macon, Georgia, with one filing in every 154 housing units, according to RealtyTrac.