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Foreclosures getting more erratic out West: ForeclosureRadar

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As mortgage servicers grapple with unique foreclosure issues from state to state, the amount of filings varied just as widely in December. New data from ForeclosureRadar showed mixed foreclosure levels in the states out West for the month of December. For example, foreclosure starts were down in Arizona, California and Washington, flat in Nevada, and higher in Oregon. Specifically, notice of default filings dropped 16.7% in California from the previous month but rose by 18% in Oregon. Variations appear on the back-end of the process, too. Sales increased 17.2% in Arizona, dipped only slightly by 0.7% in California but fell 20% in Oregon. In October, servicers froze foreclosures in 23 states where affidavits were signed without proper reviews. Then, regulators and state attorneys general branched out their investigations into the entire servicing process. Finally, 2011 kicked off with a controversial ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, throwing into question any foreclosure done without the proper paperwork, the report states. The result has been a servicing industry in serious flux, which "could certainly slow one type of activity while accelerating another," ForeclosureRadar said. "Servicers appear to have their hands full and it may be a while before foreclosure activity stabilizes," ForeclosureRadar CEO Sean O'Toole said. "While it seems unlikely at the moment, it is our hope that 2011 will bring clarity to the foreclosures process for all involved." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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