There might be some reprieve to the foreclosures waves of the past four years. A new report from mortgage market tracking company LPS Applied Analytics shows that only 8 percent of all U.S. home loans were 30 days or more delinquent, but not yet in foreclosure in April. That figure is slightly higher than March’s but the good news is that it is down 16 percent from one year ago.
Loans that were 90 days past due or already in foreclosure mad up 8 percent as well of the entire mortgage market, and that represents a lower percentage from the month before as well as an 11 percent decrease from April 2010.
“There’s still a lot of water in the boat, but at least we’ve plugged some of the leaks,” says Herb Blecher, LPS senior vice president as quoted in a USAToday article. “Now we can get to the business of bailing it out.”
In a separate study produced by the industry alliance HOPE NOW, the number of homeowners receiving initial notices of default fell 25 percent in April to 163,000 from 217,000 in March. Foreclosure completion were down in April also, declining to 73,000, a 14 percent drop from 85,000 the previous month.
It’s hard to tell at this point if the dip in these numbers is due to continued slowdown from the ‘robo-signing’ scandal that began back in October. As many of the nation’s big banks were accused of faulty foreclosure proceedings, they were forced to put a hold on many of their cases to clear the issue. Analysts predicted a rise in foreclosure filings this spring as lenders worked through their paperwork problems. Yet the April numbers remain way down from pre-October figures, when in the third quarter of 2010 there were an average of 236,000 foreclosure starts a month and there were 104,000 completed foreclosures per month on average. There has been no definitive answers as to whether foreclosures are truly starting to wind down or whether the banking industry has yet to fully catch up.
Either way, the foreclosure crisis effect is far from finished. According to LPS, it will still take four years to absorb all the foreclosures currently on the market or waiting in the wings.