Home foreclosures are likely to surge upward next month, as the real estate crisis deepens, says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of the research firm RealtyTrac.
The firm’s data show that foreclosure filings actually decreased 7 percent in November from October, though the total — 259,085 — was still 28 percent above November 2007.
“The numbers were artificially held down by several factors,” Sharga told Bloomberg TV.
“First, a couple major players, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, put unilateral moratoriums in place.”
In addition, he says, “state laws in places like California delayed the onset of new foreclosures.”
And banks held off foreclosing on customers before the holidays, Sharga says. “We’ve seen that in the past and more so this year.”
But November was just a lull, he says. “We’re afraid there will be a pretty significant spike in January, when some of these moratoriums and legislative delays run out.”
The result: “We could be looking at a total number of foreclosures similar to the peak of August, when over 303,000 households received foreclosure notices,” Sharga maintains.
“None of the programs put in place have had a significant effect slowing down the wave of foreclosures. Until we start to address individual loans, there won’t be much relief.”
Others share Sharga’s dire outlook.
“The forces leading to foreclosure are hard to offset in most cases and impossible in many,” Stanford University economist Robert Hall told Bloomberg.
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