LOS ANGELES -- U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.
Banks completed foreclosure on 59,134 homes last month, an increase of 11 percent from October and up 5 percent from November last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
Last month marked the first annual increase in bank repossessions since October 2010, when allegations of abuses by the mortgage industry compelled many lenders to temporarily halt foreclosures.
But the number of homes entering the foreclosure process or scheduled for auction for the first time, so-called foreclosure starts, sank to 77,494. That's a decline of 13 percent from October and a drop of 28 percent from November last year, the firm said.
It's also the lowest number of foreclosure starts since they hit 72,163 in December 2006.
The combination of declining foreclosure starts and a sharp increase in the number of homes taken back by lenders signals that banks are moving to complete foreclosures on homes with mortgages that have gone unpaid for a year or two, if not longer.
And it's likely that the borrowers who owned these homes already tried to refinance, get a loan modification or sell the home as a short sale – when the bank agrees to accept less than what is owned on the mortgage – but did not succeed, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.
"Now foreclosure is the final recourse the banks have to go forward on these properties," Blomquist said.
There are close to 1 million U.S. homes that are in some stage of the foreclosure process, and any of those could potentially end up repossessed by a lender.
But several factors are now working to stem, or in some cases merely delay, foreclosures. That's a stark change from two or three years ago, when the foreclosure crisis was more severe.
Mortgage servicers and banks are increasingly favoring short sales as an alternative to foreclosure. Efforts by federal and state lawmakers to slow down the foreclosure process or make loan modifications a more likely option for homeowners also are having an impact. And borrowers are getting better about keeping up with mortgage payments.
The percentage of mortgage-holding homeowners who were at least two months behind on their payments sank in the third quarter to the lowest level in more than three years, according to credit reporting firm TransUnion.
In addition, an improving housing market, rising home prices and stronger hiring likely has helped some homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Even so, bank repossessions remain elevated and on pace to exceed 650,000 this year, according to RealtyTrac. That would be down from 800,000 last year.
"We're seeing more signs of the light at the end of the tunnel, with foreclosure starts being down," Blomquist said. "But the market still has to deal with the properties that already started foreclosure, and that could keep the (bank repossession) numbers stubbornly high the next year."
Also, lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in a $25 billion settlement reached in February between five major banks and federal and state government officials over claims that many lenders had processed foreclosures without verifying documents.
As banks get a handle on those rules, they may move more quickly against late-paying mortgage-holders, Blomquist said.
All told, banks filed foreclosure-related notices on 180,817 properties last month, down 3 percent from October and down 19 percent from a year earlier.
Foreclosure activity, which RealtyTrac measures as the number of homes receiving a notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession, increased on an annual basis in 23 states and Washington D.C.
At the state level, Florida had the highest foreclosure rate of any other state, with one in every 304 households in some stage of foreclosure, or twice the national average.
Rounding out the top 10 states by foreclosure rate were Nevada, Illinois, California, South Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Indiana.
Because my husband and I have been searching for a home to purchase over the last few months,
this topic is one that I'm learning a little bit about.
I've learned that when you buy a bank owned home, the bank does not have to give you any disclosures about the home.
I've seen homes damaged by angry property owners who were foreclosed on.
I've learned that often banks don't want short sales to go through, they prefer the foreclosure and put stipulations on the buyer that can be daunting. One realtor told me they demanded the buyer put a new roof on the home before they could purchase it.
Banks have begun foreclosure proceedings often fraudulently and practically no one is doing anything to stop it.
In some areas, ( like So. Cal, and the bay area ) hedge fund investors are buying up foreclosed homes in huge blocks at auction with the intention of turning them into rentals.
When a desirable home not in foreclosure does come on the market, it is snapped up very quickly, and/or forced into a bidding war.
For more information, check out this web site:
See, this is something that really bothers me. The "news" will sit and tell you how "everything is on the mend" and the likes and you hear another report 2 weeks later that is completely to the contrary.
How can we have it both ways?
Here locally, in about August, they touted that building permits were up and that the real estate market was looking up. Just yesterday, they say that building is down compared to a year ago (supposedly while things were worse). And in comparison to the year before that, building was down... so its down and down again.... how the heck is that an improvement?
I know a gal that just bought a home here in florida. She said the first three houses she made a bid on went to investors. They pay cash and walk off with the deal and then never live in the home but flip them, which is another of those practices that should not be going on but continues as we speak. We are seeing lots of russians come in and scoop up territories and properties in florida.
CJ Holmes of the above web site, is trying desperately to get any new source to listen to her.
She's had a few small local radio stations broadcast her speaking to this issue but none of the big media will pick this up.
Who is going to go up against the banks ?
Doesn't this have to do with the wave of mortgages that were done before the fall of the housing market--- all those high risk loans that people took that started with a low interest rate and then they rose. Everyone thought they'd just refinance but then lending tightened and they couldn't??
My good friend is a broker and predicted this on the money that this was the next wave. I'm not sure how many more waves there are---- but I think he said one more after this.
I don't personally think it is bad that investers buy property to turn into rental property. Many need places to rent that don't qualify for a home loan. And I don't think we should lesson the new rules on lending as that is protecting people from getting themselves in situations that led to this issue in the first place. My opinion, anyway.
"Who is going up against the big banks?" Nobody.... we bail them out when they get in trouble. In the mean time, if a mom and pop organization makes a ton of bad business dealings and ends up broke, our government turns a deaf ear. Convenient, isn't it?
How you get back at big banks is to convince everyone you know to bank at small local banks or credit unions. That is our recourse.
You don't have to be mad at them.... I'm not mad at them, but I know what they are about and I know that our government is all about bailing them out. I find that tragic.... almost any other "business" in this country would be allowed to fail with a business model like they have. And to get bailed out, change relatively nothing??? How long till we bail them out again?
The problem is for people like me, trying to buy a home, most these foreclosures are bundled up and sold in huge lots that most people cannot afford.
Doesn't this sound unfair to you ?
I know you have rental property and I have nothing against that.
But when huge hedge fund investors buy up every desirable property, it leaves little left for those of us who simply want a home to live in.
This forces more people to become renters.
Foreclosures themselves create renters as you cannnot get another loan from the bank for three years.
I've seen where people are one month late on their payment and the bank forecloses.
My realtor warned us that if we miss one tax payment, foreclosure proceedings begin.
Yes, many people were lured into believing they trust the banks.
I urge you to read some of CJ Holmes information on the above web site:
www.hofj.org home owners for justice.
I can't explain it anywhere as well as she can.
I know in my city-- if you can imagine-- it is nothing like California but a property comes on the market and if it is a good one and priced right, it is gone within days. That is frustrating when you are looking for a home for sure. Probably easier to swallow when it is done by a single home owner who is moving in themselves rather than someone investing. And even more frustrating if it is a hedge fund buyer. On the plus side, they may be providing homes to people who need them too.
Our mortgage broker tried to talk us into one of those sweet rates that ballooned over time. We took a higher rate and a safer traditional loan. Some people took that riskier loan, got a bigger place than they could really afford when the rates went up, and got slammed.
In my state, it isn't the banks that start the situation with foreclosure over missing a tax payment but the IRS. They file a suit against people very quickly and that starts the process with the banks. The state of Ohio files a suit and that triggers a bank response.
Here too good properties are snapped up partially because so many properties are not coming on the market but going straight to the aucions in bundles.
Example of fraudulent forclosure from
Robo-stamped | Full Deposition of Michele Sjolander Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans
Below is the full deposition of Michele Sjolander, an alleged Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Her stamped signature “appeared” on the promissory note late in the lawsuit with Bank of America and others months after employees of both Fannie Mae and BAC Home Loans Servicing filed affidavits that an un-endorsed note was the “true and correct copy” in the case.
Apparently these types of “ta-da” endorsements are fairly common for Countrywide and a lot of them have the names of Michele Sjolander and Laurie Meder on them. The Defendants in the case had gotten Mrs. Sjolander to sign a Declaration that the “ta-da” endorsement in the case was in fact “true and correct” after twice trying to enter the endorsed note in the record without authentication.
Then there was an opportunity to depose her on January 25th, 2012 in Van Nuys, California. At the deposition, she revealed that she did not place the endorsement on the note and in fact is not allowed into the area where endorsing is supposedly done (at Recontrust, by Recontrust employees) without an escort.
She also stated that she does not know the name of the person who supposedly did place the endorsement on the note. She stated that the endorsement is placed on the notes with a rubber stamp onto which is carved her name, Laurie Meder’s name, and all the other information that appears on the endorsement.
In other words, the Countrywide Bank, FSB endorsement to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (using Laurie Meder’s name) and the Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. to “blank” endorsement (using Michele Sjolander’s name) is a single stamp that is purportedly placed on notes by employees of Recontrust. That is why the two endorsements line up perfectly.
Mrs. Sjolander even admitted that there is no way to know for sure when the endorsement on the note was placed there, obviously a crucial issue.
Long story short, it appears that Mrs. Sjolander’s only connection to the note in the case–and presumably in other cases–is that her stamped named appears on the purported endorsements.
She has no personal knowledge of when or if the notes are actually stamped at the Recontrust vaults.
I think people buying up properties and flipping them is a good thing...good for them if they can do it....also, turning some of those properties into rentals gives people who wouldn't qualify for a mortgage a chance to have a home. Nothing wrong with that!
Actually, a lot of those "flipped" homes are turned into affordable rentals for people who would otherwise be in a HUD property...they get a better quality home that way.
Sure, there are those who take advantage of people too...but more power to those people who can afford to do it. Ity's not all bad. It's one of those things that people just assume is all greed greed greed. It IS possible that both parties can benefit...the buyer makes a profit, and rentals are provided to people.
I wasn't talking about some people flipping homes.
This is a big concerted effort to both drive people out of their homes by foreclosure and big hedge fund companies, buying bundled homes (100s) at auction which are turned into rentals.
If you lost your home because the bank sent you a foreclosure notice, I don't think you'd be so delighted to become a renter.
FORECLOSURE CRISIS & CRUSADE
This Foreclosure Crisis is actually the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. It has been planned by insiders for decades, and NO insiders have been prosecuted. [as in Iceland]
It is the result of bank greed purchasing the corrupt collusion of Federal Government employees. It is based on forgery by Fannie, Freddie, the Banks and their attorneys, the sin of commission, and the refusal of the DOJ to prosecute bank fraud, the sin of omission. We, the taxpayers, are losing out.
In the end, unless the People rise up to demand prosecution of bank and attorney fraud, and fire corrupt government officials colluding with the Banks and the Federal Reserve, we risk the loss of much of our real estate to corporate owners for "their American Dream" - while our American Dream dies out.
I bought a foreclosed house in my neighborhood just last month. It's now occupied by a really nice family of 5 (husband/wife/3-kids).
My neighborhood wins, because some worthless idiot didn't come in and buy it. The family wins, because they're living in a huge house with extremely low rent. The economy wins, because their rent is low and they can afford to spend more on "stuff". I win, because I get to put a few bucks in my pocket each month and when the market picks up, I can sell it for what it's REALLY worth...
Yes, the house was foreclosed on, and you never want to hear that, but there IS benefit to what I did (IMO).
They pay cash and walk off with the deal and then never live in the home but flip them, which is another of those practices that should not be going on but continues as we speak. We are seeing lots of russians come in and scoop up territories and properties in florida. .
Of course I'm not okay with the dirty dealings that have gone on, and continue to go on regarding mortgage fraud and foreclosures. I was tallking about the people who are genuinely looking for a way to make some money...which is what they do by buying FC'ed homes, fixing them up, and either reselling them, or renting. I think, a LOT of times, that's a good thing.
Now, I will say this...while no doubt there have been a lot of shading dealings with mortgages and banks...there were a lot of people who lost their homes because they made horrible decisions. I don't care if the bank is willing to give you the loan or not...if the home is WAY out of your budget, and you're agreeing to a set up where your payments creep higher and higher..that's on you. Those people have accountability too.
That's not the same thing you're talking about here...but I wanted to address that...a lot of the fc's were a result of very poor decision making. Those properties are going to FC anyway...if someone can make a few bucks on it (flipping them), good for them.
I agree there were a people who made poor decisions.
Some of those people were very guilty of being incredibly naive and believing bankers who told them to take advantage of the low rates and they could modify the loan when the balloon payments came due.
But when that time came, the same bankers told them they didn't qualify.
Who should be held accountable ?
Yes, buyers beware but bankers should not be able to lie to customers and get away with it.,
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