A record 2.8–million U.S. properties had foreclosure filings filed against them in 2009, representing a 21% increase in the number over the previous year and 120% above 2007, according to RealtyTrac’s annual year-end report.
The history breaking numbers closely match the Housing Predictor foreclosure forecast, which calls for a total of 17-million foreclosures in the crisis through 2014. Actual foreclosures are projected to rise 24% in 2010, quelled in part by bankers’ increasing the number of short sale approvals, in which lenders agree to reduce the amount of a mortgage owed on a property.
However, it’s possible that foreclosures rise even higher with an increasing number of homeowners voluntarily walking away from mortgages in mass due to falling home values, and lack of equity in their properties.
Slightly more than 10% of Nevada housing units received at least one foreclosure filing during the year. The state had the highest per capita rate of foreclosures in the country for the third straight year as state forced mortgage modification programs slowed the process in an effort to get bankers to negotiate with homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The court ordered program resulted in a 37% drop in filings during the last quarter of the year.
Filings were reported on 349,519 residential properties nationwide in December, which was a 14% jump over the previous month. “As bad as the 2009 numbers are they would have been worse if not for legislative and industry related delays in processing delinquent loans,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio. “After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors, trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline.”
Four states, California, Florida, Arizona and Illinois account for half of all foreclosure filings with more than 1.4-million. Some 632,573 California homes and other residential properties received foreclosure filings during the year. The number of filings in the Golden State was down in the final quarter of 2009 by 17% from the previous quarter.
Florida had the second highest number with 516,711 filings during the year, representing a 34% increase over 2008. Delays in the foreclosure process instituted by bankers caused a 9% decrease in the year’s final quarter, but showed a trend of rising foreclosures towards the end of the year.
In hard hit Arizona foreclosure activity rose 40% in December over 2008, clearly demonstrating that the number of foreclosures in Arizona will increase in 2009. However, 163,210 filings for the year is much less than hard hit California and Florida.
Some 131,132 Illinois properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, the nation’s fourth largest and an increase of nearly 32% from 2008. The state’s fourth quarter activity increased nearly 29% from the previous quarter.
|Rate Rank||State||Total Properties with Filings||% Housing Units||1/every X HU||% Δ from 2008||% Δ from 2007|
|District of Columbia||3,235||1.14||88||-22.64||316.34*|
*Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvements
**Collection of records classified as NOD began in August 2009 because of change in state law
† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this state was discontinued starting in January 2009
†† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this state was discontinued starting in September 2008