Bay Area Foreclosure Slowdown Continues
June 16 (By Eve Mitchell, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. ) - Foreclosure activity slowed in the Bay Area during May as banks continue to back off on the foreclosure process.According to a report to be released Thursday by RealtyTrac.com, about 1,860 Bay Area homeowners received a notice of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, down 13 percent from April and down 20 percent from a year ago. Another 876 homes were taken back by banks, a 26 percent decline from April and a 39 percent drop from a year ago. RealtyTrac.com defines the Bay Area as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
While this past fall’s robo-signing scandal has slowed the foreclosure process on a national level, some markets — including the Bay Area — have seen a slowdown for other reasons as well, said Daren Blomquist, marketing and communications manager for RealtyTrac.com.
“I think this definitely is evidence the lenders are not just foreclosing because someone is delinquent. They are considering other options,” such as short sales or loan modifications, he said. “They are also considering if the market can absorb that foreclosure before they complete the process and put it on the market.”
Banks are engaging in a “calculated slowdown” when it comes to filing foreclosure proceedings, said David Schubb, president of the Schubb Group, a Pleasant Hill-based real estate brokerage.
“In reality, the banks are foreclosing when they can, and when they can’t it’s based on political and legal reasons. The government does not want foreclosures,” he said. “The real picture is that people are not able to make their payments, and if they are not they are going to lose their homes” at a later time.
But for now, there appears to be improvement.
In Alameda County, 717 homeowners received a notice of default in May, an 8 percent increase from April, but an 8 percent decline from a year ago. Another 327 homes were taken back by banks, a 19 percent drop from April and a 37 percent decline from a year ago.
In Contra Costa County, 919 homeowners received a notice of default, a 2 percent increase from April, but flat from a year ago. Another 393 homes were taken back by banks, a 32 percent decrease from April and a 41 percent drop from a year ago.
On a national level, foreclosure activity of any kind — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank-owned properties — was reported on 214,927 homes in May, a 2 percent drop from April and a 33 percent decline from May 2010.
“Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
“(While) the inventory of properties in the foreclosure process has declined steadily over the past six months — thanks in large part to 16 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new default notices — the inventory of unsold bank-owned REOs increased in April and May even as new REO activity slowed in both of those months,” he said. “That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory. Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-952-2690.
By Eve Mitchell, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.
To see more of the Contra Costa Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.contracostatimes.com/.
Copyright (c) 2011, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.
A service of YellowBrix, Inc. Publication date: 2011-06-16
Bay Area Foreclosure Slowdown Continues
You may enjoy these related posts:
- Let’s not celebrate …YET
- Defaults Surging Again!
- Walnut Creek Real Estate News – California Mortgage Defaults Drop Again!
- Foreclosure Starts Fall Again
- Walnut Creek holds foreclosure workshop as homeowners are still struggling – ContraCostaTimes.com
- Million-dollar foreclosures rise as rich walk away – Walnut Creek Real Estate News
- Walnut Creek, Other East Bay Cities See Unemployment Decline Slightly – Walnut Creek, CA Patch
- MARCH HOME SALES FOR CALIFORNIA – Walnut Creek Real Estate News