Foreclosure filings, including repossessions and scheduled auctions, were reported on 126,868 properties in May, an increase of 1% compared to April and up 16% compared to May 2014, according to RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Market Report.
It was a 16-month high, according to the report.
Fluctuations in the number of foreclosures, however, are partly due to the number of properties working their way through the foreclosure pipeline.
There were about 44,892 bank repossessions in May, down 1% from April but up 58% from May 2014. In addition, there was a 5% year-over-year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions.
As of May, scheduled foreclosure auctions had increased on a year-over-year basis in four of the previous eight months.
About 102,134 properties entered real estate owned (REO) status in May. For comparison purposes, RealtyTrac points out that in 2005 and 2006, REOs averaged 23,119 per month.
‘May foreclosure numbers are a classic good news/bad news scenario, with the number of homeowners starting the foreclosure process stabilizing at pre-housing crisis levels, but the number of homeowners actually losing their homes to foreclosure still well above pre-crisis levels and on the rise,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a release. ‘Lenders and courts are pushing through stubborn foreclosure cases that have been languishing in foreclosure limbo for years as options to prevent foreclosure are exhausted or left untapped.’
States that saw REO levels increase the most, year over year, in May included New Jersey (up 197%); New York (up 116%); Ohio (up 114%); Georgia (up 108%); Pennsylvania (up 106%); Florida (up 63%); Michigan (up 63%); Maryland (up 62%); and California (up 31%).
A total of 51,414 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in May, down 1% compared to April but up 4% compared to May 2014.
States that saw the highest number of foreclosure starts, year over year, in May included New Jersey (up 73%); Virginia (up 39%); Missouri (up 19%); Massachusetts (up 14%); and Washington (up 11%).
About 49,413 properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction in May, up 6% from April and up 5% from a year ago.
States that saw year-over-year increases in scheduled foreclosure auctions in May included New York (up 118%); Illinois (up 23%); New Jersey (up 22%); and Maryland (up 11%).