Even though one in every 80 California housing units and one in every 35 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure notice the first quarter of 2011, foreclosure filings were at a three-year low. The reason? Lenders are inundated with stalled paperwork.
From Huffington Post.com:
In the first quarter of 2011, home repossession filings were down 30 percent from one year prior to 680,000, RealtyTrac reported. The decrease, however, appears to have less to do with a recovering economy than the processing problems that are stalling foreclosures and backlogging banks and mortgage companies across the country, RealtyTrac says.
Nationally, successful home repossessions fell 17 percent from the same period last year, too, with just over 215,000 in the first three months of 2011. But new foreclosure filings sped up in March, suggesting the total number of foreclosures could still hit 1 million in the U.S. by the end of the year.
That means foreclosures remain a looming threat to further derail an already fragile housing market, RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a release.
“The nation’s housing market continued to languish in the first quarter, even as foreclosure activity fell to a three-year low,” Saccacio said. “Weak demand, declining home prices and the lack of credit availability are weighing heavily on the market, which is still facing the threat of a looming shadow inventory of distressed properties."
Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate in the first quarter, with one filing for every 35. In Arizona, one in every 60 housing units received a foreclosure notice; in California, it was one in every 80.