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West Coast Foreclosure Sales Climb to Pre-Robo-Signing Levels

Foreclosure auction sales in states along the West Coast have bounced back to levels not seen since robo-signing moratoriums went into effect last fall, the California-based tracking firm ""ForeclosureRadar"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com reported Tuesday.
[IMAGE] The company's coverage area includes the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

ForeclosureRadar says it recorded ""significant increases"" in all five states during the month of January both in terms of the number of properties that went back to the bank and those that were sold to third-party investors. REO inventories increased everywhere except in Oregon where banks sold more homes then they took back.

""We have not seen this level of activity on the courthouse steps for months,"" said Sean O'Toole, CEO and founder of ForeclosureRadar. ""The increase in foreclosures is just in time to provide a fresh supply of entry level homes for the spring homebuying season.""

ForeclosureRadar’s data show that in ""Arizona"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com/arizona-foreclosures, foreclosure sales in January skyrocketed when compared to the previous month, with a 56.2 percent increase in homes that went back to the bank and a 52.7 percent increase in sales to third parties.

Both banks and third parties bought more properties in January 2011 than in any other single month since ForeclosureRadar began tracking Arizona foreclosure sales in August 2009. Notice of trustee sale filings in the state were up 10.9 percent in January 2011 from the prior month, the first increase in six months.

January foreclosure sales followed a similar path in ""California"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com/california-foreclosures, with 51.5 percent more sales going back to the bank than in December and 52.8 percent more properties purchased by third parties.

Reversing a four-month declining trend, notice of default filings in the Golden State rose 6.9 percent month-over-


month, according to ForeclosureRadar’s analysis, while notices of trustee sale dropped 13.8 percent from the prior month. January marked the first time in six months that foreclosure cancellations in the state increased, rising 12.4 percent compared to December’s cancellations.

Activity on ""Nevada"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com/nevada-foreclosures courthouse steps increased for the second consecutive month, with banks taking back 36.8 more homes in January than they did in December and foreclosure sales to third parties jumping 43.8 percent. ForeclosureRadar says there were more third party sales in Nevada in January 2011 than in any single month in 2010.

Nevada’s notice of default filings increased 5.3 percent to begin 2011. Conversely, notice of trustee sale filings dropped 22.2 percent month-over-month, but are still up 31.7 percent from a year ago.

""Oregon"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com/oregon-foreclosures saw a dramatic swing in activity with its first increase in foreclosure sales in four months. ForeclosureRadar says homes that were sold back to the bank increased 33.4 percent in January, while sales to third parties soared 70.0 percent from December.

Despite the recent gains in Oregon’s numbers, foreclosure sales remain well below where they were at this time last year, down 39.0 percent from January 2010, according to ForeclosureRadar’s study.

""Washington"":http://www.foreclosureradar.com/washington-foreclosures saw the number of foreclosures that went back to banks climb 54.0 percent in January. Those sold to third parties increased 23.0 percent.

Following a two month slide, notice of trustee sale filings in Washington rose 8.9 percent. Still, the figure is down 30.0 percent from July 2010.

While the increase in foreclosure sales is significant, O’Toole says he’s seen larger surges after moratoriums or delays have played out in the past, in particular, California’s Senate Bill 1137, which was signed into law in July 2008 and resulted in a surge in notice of default filings that far eclipsed any prior period.

“That is not the case here,"" O’Toole said. ""Despite months of slow sales, we've simply returned to prior levels, which to me indicates banks remain reluctant to aggressively foreclose.”

ForeclosureRadar tracks activity that occurs each day on the courthouse steps. The company provides a detailed drill-down analysis into the data for each state on its Web site. This information can be easily accessed by clicking on the specific state names within this article.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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