Foreclosure News

It seems, these days, that most good news in the real estate market comes with a little bad, particularly when it concerns foreclosure issues.

For instance, industry observers see indications that the foreclosure crisis is improving.  A recent report by Realtytrac stated that the number of foreclosure notices filed during the first quarter of 2011 fell 15 percent over the previous quarter and  27 percent compared with the same period of 2010. Nationwide, this amounted to 681,000 properties receiving a notice of default, a scheduled auction or a foreclosure sale during the first quarter of 2011, one for every 191 households.

During the same time period, 215,046 borrowers lost their homes, which is 17 percent lower than the same period last year, and the best it has been in three years

Despite the improving picture regarding foreclosure issues, sales of existing and new home homes remain low, and home prices are not improving yet, according to industry officials. Theoretically, the low home property values and interest rates make this a great time to buy homes.  

The so-called “robo-signing scandal” that involved banks automatically signing off on foreclosures without looking into them case by case, evidently affected the rate of foreclosure. Since that scandal broke last year, many banks have cut back on filing foreclosures while they correct their procedures.

The drop in foreclosures is widespread. RealtyTrac reported that filings dropped in each of the 20 hardest-hit metro areas. Year-over-year declines reached as high as 59 percent, in Cape Coral, Fla., for the quarter. Even in Las Vegas, the hardest hit city during the foreclosure crisis, filings fell 8 percent. But Las Vegas remains the highest ranked metro area in per-capita foreclosures. One of every 31 homes absorbed a filing during the first quarter of 2011, about six times the national norm.

Nevada, Arizona and California continued to rank as the top-three states in foreclosure rates. Florida, however, a consistent fourth, has improved to eighth place for the first quarter and ninth for March, and with any luck, and a few more sales, foreclosure issues will clear up across the country, and people will be more encouraged to buy and sell condos and other homes.


Chicago’s Blizzard 2011 Has Passed, But a Spring Storm is Already on Its Way

By Noel Christopher

If you thought Chicago's blizzard of 2011 was bad, wait until you see the storm that is coming this spring.  The OREO storm that is.  OREO, or Other Real Estate Owned, is the term that banks use for the distressed properties they have on their books.   RealEstateAuctions.com is poised to service banks and institutions nationwide through our innovative auction platform offering boots on the ground in all our auction markets. 

We keep hearing about the “shadow inventory” in the real estate market, right? Well, a recently released Standard & Poor’s study shows that in Chicago there is a 54-month and growing inventory of distressed properties. Many of these properties are in the shadow inventory of bank properties that are waiting for one reason or another to be put out into the market. Lately there has been a hold on foreclosures due to the Robo Signing controversy, which has added to this shadow inventory.  Also adding to this inventory are all of the previously foreclosed properties that were held back from the banks to make sure they filed the right paperwork. You can see why we are drawing comparisons with Chicago's blizzard of 2011

Although the last four months in the distressed real estate market has been a little slow here in Chicago, that is all about to change. Industry sources tell me that banks are opening up the flood gates in the second quarter of 2011. So while we just had the great Chicago Blizzard of 2011, we are about to see a deluge of REO properties hit the market, much like the snow that recently buried us all.  This is more than the market can absorb through the traditional Multiple Listing Service model.

 RealEstateAuctions.com is the perfect solution to fill the need of banks by supplying an accelerated marketing option through auctions. A well-marketed auction puts the most eyes on a property with qualified buyers in the room, thus getting a great price for the bank and a good opportunity for a savvy buyer pick up a great deal.