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Record number of foreclosures in 2009

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

December’s foreclosure actions mark tenth straight month of over 300,000 notices and drive the 2009 total to over 3.9 Million notices on over 2.8 Million properties.

This morning RealtyTrac® released its year-end U.S. Foreclosure Market Reporttm for the year 2009.

The report shows a total of 3,957,643 foreclosure filings (default notices, RealtyTrac Foreclosure Rate for third quarter 2009scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions) on 2,824,674 U.S. properties in 2009, a 21 percent increase in total properties affected from 2008 and a whopping 120 percent increase in total properties affected from 2007. The report also shows that 2.21 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 45) received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 349,519 U.S. properties in December, a 14 percent jump from the previous month and a 15 percent increase from December 2008 — when a similar monthly jump in foreclosure activity occurred. Despite the increase in December, foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter decreased 7 percent from the third quarter, although it was still up 18 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008.

“As bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors: trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline.”

“Despite all the delays, foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report in 2009, capped off by a substantial increase in December,” Saccacio continued. “In the long term a massive supply of delinquent loans continues to loom over the housing market, and many of those delinquencies will end up in the foreclosure process in 2010 and beyond as lenders gradually work their way through the backlog.”

Nevada, Arizona, Florida post top state foreclosure rates in 2009
More than 10 percent of Nevada housing units received at least one foreclosure filing in 2009, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive year. Nevada foreclosure activity in December increased 27 percent from the previous month but was still down 22 percent from December 2008. Fourth quarter foreclosure activity in Nevada was down 37 percent from the previous quarter thanks to substantial decreases in October and November.

Arizona registered the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in 2009, with more than 6 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year, and Florida registered the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate, with 5.93 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year.

Other states with 2009 foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were California (4.75 percent), Utah (2.93 percent), Idaho (2.72 percent), Georgia (2.68 percent), Michigan (2.61 percent), Illinois (2.50 percent), and Colorado (2.37 percent).

California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois account for 50 percent of national total
Four states accounted for more than 50 percent of the nation’s 2009 total, with more than 1.4 million properties receiving a foreclosure filing in California, Florida, Arizona and Illinois combined.

A total of 632,573 California properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, the nation’s largest state foreclosure activity total and an increase of nearly 21 percent from 2008. After four straight month-over-month declines, California foreclosure activity in December increased nearly 9 percent from the previous month, but the state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity was still down 17 percent from the previous quarter.

Florida posted the nation’s second largest total, with 516,711 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in 2009 — a 34 percent increase from 2008. The state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity was down nearly 9 percent from the previous quarter despite a 4 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity in December.

Arizona foreclosure activity in December spiked 40 percent from the previous month, helping the state post the third largest foreclosure activity total for the year. A total of 163,210 Arizona properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, a nearly 40 percent increase from 2008.

A total of 131,132 Illinois properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, the nation’s fourth largest total and an increase of nearly 32 percent 2008. The state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity increased nearly 29 percent from the previous quarter, and the state’s December foreclosure activity was up nearly 9 percent from the previous month.

Other states with 2009 totals among the 10 highest in the country were Michigan (118,302), Nevada (112,097), Georgia (106,110), Ohio (101,614), Texas (100,045), and New Jersey (63,208).