Mortgage Daily

Published On: April 16, 2015

Not only did the number of new foreclosure filings increase last month, but total filings leapt, the foreclosure rate deteriorated and repossessions soared.

New foreclosures were initiated by mortgage servicers on 53,514 U.S. residential properties during the month of March.

Activity accelerated from the prior month, when 48,079 foreclosures were reported. But there was a slight dip from March 2014, when 55,710 foreclosures were started.

Since the year began, foreclosures have been initiated on 152,147 properties.

New filings were highest in California: 5,456. Florida followed with 4,280 foreclosures started, then 4,260 in New Jersey, 3,975 in Texas and 3,582 in New York.

Total U.S. filings — including
default notices, scheduled auctions and repossessions — numbered 122,060, soaring from 101,938 previously reported for February and also worsening from 117,485 previously reported for March 2014.

From Jan. 1 through March 31, there have been 313,487 U.S. properties that have been hit with a foreclosure filing.

March 2015 total filings were greatest in Florida, where 20,191 homes faced a foreclosure filing. No. 2 California had 12,436 properties that received a filing. After that was 11,669 in Illinois, 7,010 in New Jersey and 5,722 in Texas.

The fewest total filings were in North Dakota: 10.

One foreclosure was filed on every 1,082 U.S. housing units last month.
The rate worsened from one-in-1,295 during February and one-in-1,121 during March 2014.

For the first three months of 2015, a filing was made on each 421 properties.

In addition to having the most total filings in March, Florida also had the worst rate of any state: one filing for each 446 homes. Illinois was No. 2 with a filing made on each 453 homes. After that was New Jersey’s one-in-508, Maryland’s one-in-535 and Nevada’s one-in-586.

A filing for each 32,471 residences in North Dakota was the most-favorable rate in the nation.

Moving on to the ultimate foreclosure metric, completed foreclosures, 36,152 U.S. borrowers lost their home to foreclosure in March.

Real-estate-owned filings surged from 24,305 repossessions a month earlier and 28,840 a year earlier.

“The March increase is continued cleanup of distress still lingering from the previous housing crisis; not the beginning of a new crisis by any means,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, explained in the report. “Some of most stubborn foreclosure cases are finally being flushed out of the foreclosure pipeline, and we would expect to see more noise in the numbers over the next few months as national foreclosure activity makes its way back to more stable patterns by the end of this year.”

Year-to-date March 31, there have been 82,081 U.S. foreclosures completed.

REO filings were highest in Florida at 7,202 last month. Illinois followed with 4,433 repossessions. After that was 2,443 in California, 1,889 in Ohio and 1,745 in Texas.

Just three homes were lost to foreclosure during March in North Dakota, the fewest of any state.

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