Foreclosures drop in the West as filing slows
Foreclosure filings dropped in June from the previous month and it takes less time to foreclose in California, Arizona and Nevada compared to May. But on a year-over-year basis, the growing trend of extending the foreclosure process continued, according to ForeclosureRadar. Although the foreclosure process sped up in June compared to May, the time to foreclose increased from a year earlier throughout the western U.S., according to Discovery Bay, Calif.-based firm. The largest increase in the foreclosure timeline was in Nevada where it now takes, on average, 319 days to foreclose, up from 239 days a year ago. California saw the second most significant increase with the average time to foreclose at 317 days, up from 261 days a year ago. The least change was observed in Washington state where the average time to foreclose is 106 days, barely higher than 105 days seen a year ago. Foreclosure filing activity was down throughout ForeclosureRadar's coverage area in June, with fewer foreclosure filings in all states. There were also fewer foreclosure sales everywhere except Oregon, which saw an uptick in activity on the courthouse steps. "While the decrease in the time to foreclose last month is statistically interesting, we do not see it as signaling an end to lenders looking to avoid losses that they can't afford by continuing the extend and pretend policies of the past," said Sean O'Toole, chief executive and founder of ForeclosureRadar. In Arizona, notice of trustee sale filings were down 8.7% in June from the prior month and down 33.7% from a year earlier. Foreclosures entering REO status in Arizona were down for the third-consecutive month, with a 16.6% drop in June from May and a 30.9% drop year-over-year. Foreclosures sold to third parties, typically investors, slowed as well with a 7.9% decline from May. The time to foreclose in Arizona decreased in June to 165 days down 7.3% from May. Foreclosure activity in California slowed across the board. Notice of default filings fell for the third month in a row with a 1.5% drop in June over May. Notice of trustee sale filings were down 11.7% from the prior month and 34.3% lower than June 2010. Foreclosure sales on the courthouse steps in California were slower with 13.4% fewer sales entering REO status compared to May and 7.1% fewer foreclosed properties being sold to third parties. For the first time in six months the average time to foreclose decreased in California to 317 days, down almost 8% from May but still up 21.5% compared to this time last year. In Nevada, notice of default filings were nearly flat in June and remain at the lowest level since ForeclosureRadar began tracking Nevada filings in August 2009. Notice of trustee sale filings fell 7.2% from the previous month to the lowest level in 15 months. Activity also slowed on the courthouse steps in June, with sales entering REO status down by 25%, and properties going to third parties off by 12.4% compared to May. The time to foreclosure in Nevada decreased 5% from May to 319 days but remained 33.5% percent higher than June 2010. Oregon saw a 29.6% drop in notice of default filings in June, which erased the spike in April when ReconTrust, a subsidiary of Bank of America (BAC), temporarily increased filings. Properties sold entering REO status rose 2% month-over-month, but remain down 57.1% from a year ago. Properties sold to third parties increased 18.9% from May. Washington saw a 2.4% drop in notice of trustee sale filings from May, the third consecutive month of declines. Foreclosure sales that went into REO status in the state in the northwest corner of the country dropped 19.8% in June from May. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.