US foreclosure filings hit 5-year low in September

U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders.
Associated Press
Oct 15, 2012

It was the second-consecutive monthly decline in filings, although there remains a sharp divergence along state lines, according to a report Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

On a national level, overall foreclosure filings last month — including home repossessions — fell 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September 2011. There were 180,427 foreclosure filings reported for September, the fewest since July 2007 in the midst the housing market bust.

The number of homes entering the foreclosure process, so-called foreclosure starts, fell to 87,066 in September, down 12 percent from August and 15 percent from a year earlier. It was the second-straight month of declines following three months of increases, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac reported.

Foreclosure starts since peaked in April 2009 at around 203,000. But the current level is still well above the 34,000 starts recorded in May 2005, before the collapse of the housing market.

Overall foreclosure filings include notices of defaults on mortgages, scheduled auctions and repossessions. Foreclosure starts are either default notices or scheduled auctions, depending on the state's legal process.

Foreclosure starts declined in September on an annual basis in 31 states, with the biggest drops in California, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Texas, the new report showed. They are among the so-called non-judicial states, in which court approval isn't required for foreclosures.

Foreclosure activity has been declining in most non-judicial states because they didn't build a huge backlog of pending cases during an industrywide slowdown in foreclosures last year. The slowdown stemmed from widespread claims that lenders had been processing foreclosures without verifying documents.

Of the 19 states in which foreclosure starts rose in September, those with the largest annual increases were New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington state and Florida. Except for Washington, they are judicial states, where the courts must sign off on foreclosures.

The slower process in states where courts play a role in foreclosures contributed to a logjam of pending foreclosure cases that now has mortgage lenders catching up.

In Washington, a non-judicial state, lenders were catching up with foreclosure cases that had been delayed by a state law that took effect in July 2011 and allowed borrowers facing foreclosure to request mediation, RealtyTrac noted.

The pace of homes entering the foreclosure process is expected to slow gradually, barring another severe economic shock that would send the recovering housing market into a tailspin, experts say. But the decline in foreclosures is likely to continue playing out unevenly, in part because of the differing approaches to handling foreclosures from state to state.

Meanwhile, there were 53,569 completed foreclosures last month. That's up 2 percent from August but down 18 percent from September 2011.

Home repossessions nationwide have been down on an annual basis for the past 23 months. They rose in September in 12 states, including New Jersey, where they jumped 48 percent, and Indiana, where they increased 31 percent.

Between January and September, banks completed foreclosures on 505,585 homes. At that pace, the country is on track to end the year with about 675,000 completed foreclosures, down from around 800,000 last year, according to Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in the country last month, a rate of one in every 117 households in some stage of foreclosure.

Arizona, California, Illinois and Georgia rounded out the top five states with the highest foreclosure rates in September.




There will always be foreclosures. The reason are to numerous to mention. But, it looks like we have finally weeded out those government forced home loans. Normal due diligence by banks was not allowed. Everyone was entitled to owning a home.

In education, employment and home ownership the opportunity is there for all.The outcome can not be pre arranged by our government.

Julie R.

In Erie County a house doesn't need to be in foreclosure to be sold at a court-ordered scam sheriff sale. All it needs is idiot public officials like the ones in corrupt Erie County.

Home Boy

Of course, they're down. Look at how many there were.


Government forced home loans? What exactly are those? Are you saying the Bush administration forced the government to give out bad loans? Due dilligence was not allowed? Who did not allow it? Help me out on this!


The government forced the banks to loan to people who were not qualified, They had quota's to meet. This caused a Housing bubble because as the democrats like to say "Homeownership is a right".
People really need to read more.


What's that part about 1995? I missed the word "forced". If the banks had not been discrimating the need for the lawsuit would not have been there. Banks regularly discriminated agains minorities when it came to home loans. I know this for a fact. President Obama was not the source of the housing bubble nor reason for the collapse. Common sense Randy, common sense. Read about that why don't you?


It was a link i had handy, The gov pressured the banks into making sub-prime loans. It was not a racial issue at all but more or less loaning to people who could not afford the houses. After 10 to 15 years those same loans caused the crash. Housing bubbles do not happen over night. If the banks didnt loan or make loans avaliable the government would come down on those same banks with lawsuits, Thats force. Loan or we will sue you.
BTW I do not think Obama is behind the housing bubble, But he is a symptom of what caused it.


NO,the government wanted to make sure the banks were not discriminating in their lending. The lawsuit was not filed to force banks to make bad loans or force bankers to be corrupt. The government did not force the bank to give loans to people that they knew could not afford it. It was corruption the banks are solely responsible for. Give out bad loans, then sell those loans so you get paid either way then bet they are going to default. Alot of people made alot of money and the worst part is, it was mostly all legal!


How would you go about giving loans to people living on the edge of poverty? Would you not give them out and face the government pressure or would you do as all banks do, Make variable adjustment loans so they may qualify for them on a low income? The banks were stuck and yes it was wrong to give loans to low income people but what were the alternatives? Obviously these people could not afford them and didnt pass the sniff test because in less than 20 years we see the fall out from these loans. Same as whats happening today with GM. Do you think this time will be any different?


I would not give loans to anyone that could not afford them. Period!


Then you would not be in compliance with the community reinvestment act of 1977 Yeah, They were under pressure to loan.


Randy, did you read this part of the article? "The law, however, emphasizes that an institution's CRA activities should be undertaken in a safe and sound manner, and does not require institutions to make high-risk loans that may bring losses to the institution.[3][4] An institution's CRA compliance record is taken into account by the banking regulatory agencies when the institution seeks to expand through merger, acquisition or branching. The law does not mandate any other penalties for non-compliance with the CRA.[6][9]" C'mon man READ! THERE WAS NO PRESSURE OR FORCE!


"An institution's CRA compliance record is taken into account by the banking regulatory agencies when the institution seeks to expand through merger, acquisition or branching."
With a bad review the bank cannot expand. How do they get good reviews? By loaning to more people. When they are scraping the bottom of the barrel and the threat of bad reviews come in they start bad loan practices backed with the promise that fannie and freddie will take up the slack. Banks are in it to make money, With a guaranteed out *Selling toxic assets* and good reviews for expanding it is better than having a bad rating from the government who approves or turns down mergers and expansions. You cannot see that?


And how many are underwater with the drop in housing values?


Who can remember the young lawyer Barry Soetero suing banks for discrimination in loans on behalf of his community organizer group Acorn!!


People don't lose their house because they are underwater. It may not be worth what they bought it for but no one is taking it away. They may have to live in it longer than the want but no one forced them to buy or pay that price for the property.


No one forced the bank to loan them the money either. People walk away from homes that are underwater because it's a bad deal for them. Would you pay for a home that was originally overpriced then continue to pay when the home has depreciated when it was suppose to appreciate? At some point you have to cut your losses. Yes, the homeowner was wrong for signing on the dotted line but the bank was just as wrong for approving the loan.


A bank loan is a contract. If you break a contract there should be consequences. If there are no consequences you would see all of the unions lose their jobs tomarrow. My home lost value due to stupid people signing loans they could not afford. Am i getting screwed? I would say YES because not only do i get to pay for my own home but i get to pay to bail out Fannie and freddie and the rest of the banks for loaning stupid people money that could not afford it.If you walk away from a home you have signed your name to, your name is no longer worth anything.

Swamp Fox

Dodd-Frank allowed Fannie & Freddie to insurance mortgages for 0% down and with sub prime credit ratings to quote"allow everyone home ownership."

"The tragedy is that the financial crisis continues because Congress misdiagnosed the problem and came up with a 2,000-page "solution" that will only make matters worse.

Despite the well-known problems with Fannie and Freddie, they were ignored in the Dodd-Frank Act. Why? Because many members of Congress had conflicts of interest in that Fannie and Freddie were very large contributors to the political campaigns of numerous members.

More direct conflicts of interest, by Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, were well publicized, forcing Dodd to retire and causing Frank to loan personal money to his own re-election campaign.

The numbers show that government policies (including actions by the Fed), not greedy bankers, caused the financial meltdown.

As long as the government continues to force its agencies and private parties to give housing loans to those who cannot afford them, taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars in additional debt. But Washington is still in denial, from the president to the bureaucrats, including those at the Federal Reserve and, most of all, members of Congress — including, of course, the notorious Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, all of whom won re-election rather than jail terms."

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

The Big Dog's back

Cato Institute? Are you serious? Puhleeeze. Nobody, but nobody forced the banks to make loans. The banks made the loans, reaped the benefits, and left the Gov holding the bag.


Exactly right! Swamp is talking out the side of his neck. Obama was not even the President when this happened. These people actually consider themselves intelligent........I think! What a joke!

swiss cheese kat

In 2005 then-Senator Obama joined with his Democratic buddy Rahm Emanuel in stopping legislation that would have helped rein in the government-sponsored Fannie & Freddie mess. Senator Obama, was first in line when the little piggy’s lined up at the Fannie and Freddie trough for campaign money. How dumb can you be?

Swamp Fox

deertracker typical democrapper, where did I mention obbie in reference to Dodd-Frank, another example of the liberal based education system... Obbie's only knowledge of the housing market is purchasing a home with the assistance of a Chicago mobster Tony Rezko.......

doggie who barks without thinking. I would hope he knows that the Cato Insitutue is a Libertarian think tank that has criticized both major parties on a regular basis, but then again doggie thinking?


Oh..kinda like the farmers in the eighties blaming the banks? NFW.


Statistics are mainly a "JOKE". I can give many an explanation on any subject. One Million Homes to be foerclosed on. 950,000 completed and it is going to take a little more time to clean up the rest of the mess. I'll bet it is lower next month also. Say two years ago there were 75 million loans. It's been much harder to get a loan and now we are down to 30 million home loans. Less loans, Less in foreclosure.


The same yahoos who are trying to spin this obvious bit of GOOD news would be saying the exact same thing if the statistics showed the opposite. Stats are worse? It's Obama's fault. Stats are better? The stats are a lie.

The 2012 Republican Mantra: Ignore any signs of improvement in America since 2009, even blatantly obvious things. Ignore everything pre-2009. Must....not....give any good news. It would be an admission that the economy IS getting better and Obama's policies are indeed working.
Which, of course, is exactly what's happening...


Coasterfan, you should probably read other people's comments before you post. The whole thing has been laid out and there is nothing you can say against it.

As to this good news of yours, of course there are less home foreclosures...there arent many homeowners left! Geez.

Ignore everything pre-2009? Isn't that what you are doing? I am pretty sure everyone here is talking about how Clinton set this in motion and the Democrats drove the nail in the coffin when they won control of Congress in 2006 (capitalizing on the anti-war sentiment and seizing the opportunity for an economic coup to "transform" America).


Things are better? What the heck are you smoking?
16 Trillion, Less and cheaper jobs, $3.50 &$4.00 gas, still in Iraq, now in Afghanistan, Soldiers still being killed, and "NO" Transparency and things are getting better. Yes, Muslims have it better, Illegal Immigration has exploded, no threat to those responsible to Fast and Furious, and those responsible for 9/11 still have no worries. I guess it's better for those of you but to Red-Blooded Americans and our Troops it's Worse.


"those responsible for 9/11 still have no worries" What? Almost all are dead or locked up. Explain.

Swamp Fox

Never confuse a liberal with bright objects or facts. Chris Dodd (D) personally received favorable deals from (defunct) Countrywide Mortgage who had written record number of sub-prime loans insured by Fannie & Freddie.
Both Fannie & Freddie gave lenders incentives and lowered their standards to back the loans. The vast number of these sub-prime loans ended up in foreclosure.