Number of new foreclosure filings plummets

RealtyTrac today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August 2013. The report shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — decreased 2 percent from the previous month and were down 34 percent from August 2012 — the 35th consecutive month where foreclosure activity has decreased on an annual basis. The report also shows one in every 1,019 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month, and includes these findings.

The decrease in overall foreclosure activity was driven largely by falling foreclosure starts in August. A total of 55,775 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process during the month, down 44 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since December 2005.

Foreclosure starts in August decreased from a year ago in 38 states, including both non-judicial states such as Colorado (down 80 percent), Arizona (down 65 percent), Washington (down 65 percent), California (down 57 percent), and Michigan (down 55 percent), and also judicial states such as Illinois (down 66 percent), Massachusetts (down 66 percent), Florida (down 65 percent), Indiana (down 43 percent), and Wisconsin (down 39 percent).

Foreclosure starts did increase from the previous month in 17 states, including Nevada (up 226 percent), Ohio (up 44 percent), Maryland (up 24 percent), California (up 12 percent), and New York (up 8 percent).

Bank repossessions (REO) in August increased 6 percent from the previous month but were still down 25 percent from a year ago. REO activity nationwide has increased on a month-to-month basis in three of the last four months, reaching a five-month high in August.

REO activity increased from the previous month in 26 states and was up from a year ago in 23 states, including New York (up 123 percent to a 34-month high), New Jersey (up 63 percent to a 31-month high), Florida (up 48 percent to a seven-month high), Ohio (up 46 percent to an eight-month high), and Indiana (up 41 percent to a 9-month high).

Nevada’s foreclosure rate ranked highest nationwide, supplanting Florida at the No. 1 spot. Florida’s foreclosure rate fell to second highest, followed by Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

Florida cities accounted for six of the 10 highest metropolitan foreclosure rates, down from nine of the top 10 in the previous month. Also in the top 10 metro foreclosure rates were Las Vegas and three Ohio cities: Toledo, Cleveland and Akron.

The number of properties with foreclosure filings in the Chicago metro area was down 5.65% month-over-month and 58.78% year-over-year.

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