Foreclosure Slowdown Will Likely Be Temporary
Last month, the number of homes repossessed by lenders in the U.S. fell from the previous month’s numbers for the first time this year. According to real estate experts, this drop is a product of the recent halt in foreclosures after allegations of illegal foreclosure practices by lenders. Therefore, it represents a temporary slowdown in foreclosures, and is probably not an indicator that the real estate market has begun to recover, experts say.
In October, 92,236 homes were repossessed across the United States, which is a nine percent drop from September’s peak 102,134 repossessions. However, even though October saw fewer foreclosures than previous months, the month’s tally was 21 percent higher than the same month in 2009. Thus far in 2010, there has been an average of almost 92,000 foreclosures every month, with more than 909,000 homes repossessed in the first 10 months of the year. Georgia remains in the top ten states for foreclosures.
Despite the foreclosure slowdown, experts say that lenders are still on track to foreclose on over one million homes this year. “It’s almost impossible to imagine that we wouldn’t surpass that number at this point,” said RealtyTrac Senior Vice President Rick Sharga.
The drop is a product of this fall’s lender-imposed foreclosure moratorium, experts say, during which banks halted repossessions across the country while they examined their foreclosure practices. However, lenders have announced that they have restarted foreclosure processes in several states, and foreclosures will again be on the rise. However, it will take some time for numbers to get back up to previous levels. “We expect it will take about three or four months to basically get back up to speed,” said JPMorgan Chase spokesman Thomas Kelly.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “US homes lost to foreclosure drops 9 pct in Oct.”, Alex Veiga, 11 November 2010