After the housing market bubble burst, foreclosures seemed to spread like an epidemic across the country; everyone knew at least one person who was losing a home to foreclosure. States in the western part of the U.S. were hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis. There was a brief lull in foreclosure activity at the beginning of 2011 as major lenders battled legal challenges resulting from the “robo-signing” scandal of 2010. However, new foreclosure statistics show that respite may be at an end.
Increases in Foreclosure Nationwide
According to the latest data available for 2011, Utah’s foreclosure rate declined while the national foreclosure rate increased slightly. However, despite the drop in the total number of foreclosure filings in Utah, the state ranked sixth in foreclosures in the U.S. for July through September 2011.
RealtyTrac, a firm tracking the number of foreclosed properties, reports that one in every 145 properties in Utah was in foreclosure in the third quarter of 2011 compared to one in every 213 housing units nationwide. Utah’s foreclosure rate decreased by 18 percent from the second quarter of 2011 and by 39 percent from the same time last year.
Nationwide, foreclosures increased by 1 percent from the second quarter, ending a streak of decreases in foreclosures for the three previous quarters. RealtyTrac executives predict that between 2 million and 2.1 million properties will go through foreclosure by the end of 2011
Reasons for National Foreclosure Increase
Industry analysts suggest that the increase in foreclosures in the U.S. is evidence that the difficulties that lenders were having in foreclosing on properties due to the “robo-signing” scandal have eased. Lenders can act more decisively on properties where the borrowers are in default on their loan payments now that the lenders no longer have delays with loan documentation and foreclosure filings that they had in the past.
Others suggest that the slightly rebounding housing market may be giving lenders incentive to foreclose. Evidence that people are once again buying houses may be giving lenders confidence that they can sell properties after the foreclosure process.
Consult an Attorney
If you are struggling financially and are afraid that you might lose your home to foreclosure, consult an experienced foreclosure attorney who can advise you of all of your options.