Despite the fact that foreclosure filings fell 1% in April compared to March, bank repossessions increased 4%, due mainly to mortgage servicers' ongoing efforts to clear out a backlog of pending foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
The report shows that bank repossessions were up in 26 states, month over month, and were up in 16 states, year over year.
States that saw the biggest increases in bank repossessions, year-over-year, included New York (142%), Oregon (91%), New Jersey (58%), Illinois (55%), Indiana (52%), Maryland (45%), Connecticut (44%), California (27%) and Nevada (15%).
Nevertheless, total repossessions in the U.S. were down 14% from a year ago. There were a total of 30,056 bank repossessions nationwide in April.
‘The rise in bank repossessions in many states is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the recent housing crisis,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a release. ‘Many of these bank-owned (REO) homes are bottom-of-the-barrel properties in terms of location or condition, but they will provide some much-wanted inventory of homes for sale in some markets in the coming months. Investors and other buyers willing to do more extensive rehab will likely be best-suited for these incoming REOs.’
The report shows that foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 115,830 U.S. properties in April. Although this is only a 1% decrease from the previous month, it is a 20% drop from April 2013. About one in every 1,137 homes had a foreclosure filing during the month.
A total of 49,239 properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in April, down 3% from the previous month and down 21% from a year ago. It was the 41st consecutive month where scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased annually, according to the report.
Scheduled auctions increased from the previous month in 22 states and were up from a year ago in 17 states, including Oregon (up 229%), Utah (up 101%), Colorado (up 87%), New Jersey (up 73%), Alabama (up 25%), New York (up 25%) and Florida (up 8%).
A total of 54,613 properties started the foreclosure process in April, down 2% from the previous month and down 22% from a year ago. It was the 21st consecutive month where foreclosure starts decreased annually.
To read the full report, click here.