RealtyTrac: There’s a ‘Rising Tide’ of Foreclosures Ahead

Friday, 16 Mar 2012 08:20 AM

By Michael Kling

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The nationwide settlement with major banks clears the way for a tsunami of foreclosures, experts warn.

The number of homes entering foreclosure in February fell 8 percent from February 2011, but that's just a lull before the storm, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

According to RealtyTrac, 21 states saw annual increases in foreclosure activity, the most since November 2010. February's drop was due to less foreclosure activity in a few large states.

Editor's Note: Wall Street Whistleblower Warns of Meltdown, See His Uncensored Interview

"February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed," said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac.

"The foreclosure and mortgage settlement filed in court earlier this week will help pave the way to a properly functioning foreclosure process by providing a clear roadmap for necessary foreclosures."

The agreement between state attorneys general and the five largest banks clarifies how foreclosures and done.

Under the agreement, the states drop their investigations into improper foreclosure practices while the banks agree to foreclosure practices and other demands.

Banks are now free to move forward with foreclosure cases that were stuck in limbo for months or even years in some cases.

"They have already adjusted their foreclosure practices to fit the terms of the settlement," said Daren Blomquist, director of marketing for RealtyTrac, according to CNNMoney. "We expect that to continue as [the settlement] gets finalized."

"The pig is starting to move through the python," he said, CNNMoney reported.

Foreclosure activity in the 26 states with judicial foreclosure process, which requires court approval for a foreclosure, increased 2 percent from January and 24 percent from February 2011, according to RealtyTrac.

Meanwhile, activity in the 24 states with a non-judicial foreclosure process decreased 5 percent from January and was down 23 percent from February 2011.

Florida is seeing some of the largest increases in foreclosure activity, with activity increasing 64 percent in Tampa and 53 percent in Miami.

Editor's Note: Wall Street Whistleblower Warns of Meltdown, See His Uncensored Interview


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