Foreclosure filings reported in January totaled 274,399, representing a 10% decrease from December 2008, according to RealtyTrac. Despite the drop – which RealtyTrac observes was likely due in large part to the government-sponsored enterprises' moratorium on foreclosure sales – foreclosure filings still increased 18% compared to January 2008 filings.
The report shows one in every 466 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January.
‘The extensive foreclosure efforts on the part of lenders and government agencies appear to have impacted the January numbers – particularly the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moratorium on all foreclosure sales that was extended through the end of January, along with Florida's voluntary 45-day freeze on all new foreclosure actions and scheduling of foreclosure sales that was announced at the beginning of December," says James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "January [real estate owned properties], which represent completed foreclosure sales to the foreclosing lender, were down 15 percent nationwide from the previous month. And in Florida, overall foreclosure activity was down 20 percent from the previous month."
Nevada foreclosure activity in January decreased 4% from the previous month, but the state continued to register the nation's No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,444 Nevada properties in January, up 137% from January 2008.
California posted the nation's second-highest state foreclosure rate in January, with one in every 173 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and Arizona posted the nation's third-highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Despite a 20% month-over-month drop in foreclosure activity, Florida posted the nation's fourth-highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 214 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.