Total foreclosure activity dropped in November, according to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc., following typical seasonal patterns.
The number of foreclosure-related notices on U.S. properties fell 3 percent from October to 224,393, reflecting a foreclosure rate of one out of every 579 households. Foreclosure notices are down 14 percent from a year ago. First-time default notices also decreased, falling 8 percent from the month before and 9 percent from November 2010.
Yet, while activity seems to be down, there are still plenty of foreclosures to be processed, just waiting in the wings. According to RealtyTrac, there are more homes now in foreclosure or set to be auctioned than there have been in over 9 months. Homes scheduled for auction in November were up 13 percent from October (although down 17 percent from the year before).
“Despite a seasonal slowdown similar to what we’ve seen each of the past four years, November’s numbers suggest a new set of incoming foreclosure waves,” said RealtyTrac CEO, James Saccacio, as quoted in a Washington Post article.
Those waves were created by the halting of foreclosure processing by many big banks last fall after they were accused of using unverified documents in their procedures. Starting about three months ago, banks started foreclosure proceedings in full force again, starting with the backlog of defaulted loans that have been piled up from the past year.
Foreclosure activity continues to be strongest in states where home prices were the most inflated during the housing boom. The states with the top 10 foreclosure rates in November were Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Nevada saw one in every 175 households receiving some sort of foreclosure notice or action, and California properties alone received 28 percent of the nation’s foreclosure notices.