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Over 1 Million REOs in 2010

257,747 properties hit with foreclosure filing in December

Jan. 13, 2011

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Although foreclosure filings fell last year, the number of properties that faced a filing climbed to a new record and would have been higher had it not been for the foreclosure affidavit crisis. Completed foreclosures climbed past a million. An East Coast state had the best foreclosure rate, while it was a state on the West Coast that had the most filings.

Last month saw 257,747 properties that faced some sort of a foreclosure filing, fewer than the 262,339 reported by RealtyTrac for November. The number of filings has fallen each month since September 2010's 347,420.

In December 2009, there were 349,519 properties hit with a foreclosure filing -- including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

For all of 2010, there were 3,825,637 foreclosure notices filed on a record 2,871,891 U.S. properties. The metrics were mixed compared to 2009, when 3,957,643 filings were made on 2,824,674 properties.

RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio speculated that the number of properties that faced a filing last year would have exceeded 3 million had it not been for a 14-percent fourth-quarter decline as a result of the foreclosure affidavit crisis.

"Many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 -- which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million -- will likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011," Saccacio stated.

A majority of the properties that faced a foreclosure filing last year were in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan.

California continued as the state with the most filings during just December: 65,915. Golden State activity deteriorated from 57,378 November filings. Next was Florida, where 25,641 properties faced a foreclosure filing, declining from 32,938 the month before. Michigan's 16,061 filings followed, then Illinois' 14,042 and Arizona's 13,561.

Vermont's 15 filings were the fewest of any state.

The U.S. foreclosure rate last month improved to one filing for each 501 housing units versus one-in-492 the prior month.

During full-year 2010, there was a foreclosure filed for every 45 housing units, exactly the same as 2009.

December's worst foreclosure rate was in Nevada: one-in-84 housing units. Arizona's one-in-201 rate followed, then California's one-in-203. After that was Michigan's one-in-282 rate, then Utah's one-in-284.

In Vermont, only one foreclosure was filed for each 20,841 housing units, the best rate in the country.

Mortgages that became real-estate-owned numbered 69,847 last month, slightly higher than November's 67,428.

The whole year's U.S. REOs totaled around 1,050,545, climbing from 2009's 884,052.

California dominated REO count in December with 12,045 repossessions. Florida had 7,459 REOs, then Arizona's 4,377, Michigan's 4,132 and Texas' 4,053.

With just 14 REOs, Vermont's numbers were lowest.

total foreclosure activity in 2010

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