Banks Took Back 1 Million Homes in 2010

U.S. lenders took back more than 1 million homes from distressed homeowners in 2010, according to a report released today by online foreclosure marketer RealtyTrac.

And nearly 4 million foreclosure filings were recorded against nearly 3 million properties during the same period, despite the “foreclosure freezes” that occurred for several weeks at the end of 2010, according to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Both figures were increases from 2009 and exceeded projections for the year.

“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a company news release. “Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter-million — will likely be restarted and add to the numbers in early 2011.”

According to RealtyTrac, 3,825,637 foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were recorded on 2,871,891 U.S. properties in 2010, a record high. Filings increased 2 percent from 2009 and were up 23 percent from 2008, according to RealtyTrac. One in 45 homes in the United States received at least one foreclosure filing last year, 2.23 percent of all U.S. housing units, up from 2.21 percent in 2009, 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.

Fourth-quarter activity dropped as several large banks suspended foreclosure activity for a period of time before resuming filings. In December, banks filed on 257,747 properties, down 2 percent from November and 26 percent from December 2009. Quarterly filings decreased 14 percent from the third quarter and were 8 percent lower than in 2009.

California in Top Four

The big four — Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California — had the highest foreclosure rates, RealtyTrac reported.

Nevada: More than 9 percent of housing units (one in 11) received at least one filing in 2010, though activity did decrease 5 percent from 2009. Nevada has had the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for four consecutive years. It also saw a spike of activity in December 2010, increasing 18 percent from November and 14 percent from December 2009. Fourth-quarter activity was down nearly 7 percent from the previous quarter but up 19 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.

Arizona: One in 17 housing units (5.73 percent) received at least one foreclosure filing in 2010.

Florida: One in 18 units, (5.51 percent)

California: One in 25 units (4.08 percent). California topped the list with the largest total number of homes receiving foreclosure filings at 546,669, a 14 percent decrease from 2009. Foreclosure activity hit a two-year low in November but spiked back up nearly 15 percent higher in December, which was still 18 percent lower than December 2009.

Other states rounding out the top 10 foreclosure rates were Utah (1 in 29, 3.44 percent), Georgia (1 in 31, 3.25 percent), Michigan (1 in 33, 3.00 percent), Idaho (1 in 34, 2.98 percent), Illinois (1 in 35, 2.87 percent), and Colorado (1 in 40, 2.51 percent).

Riverside and San Bernardino County Foreclosure Activity

Homes in the city of Riverside received 897 foreclosure filings in 2010, while 636 Corona homes received filings, RealtyTrac reported. They led Riverside County, which had 6,628 homes countywide with a filing.

San Bernardino County homes received 5,806 filings, according to the report. The High Desert city of Victorville had 620 of those filings, and San Bernardino had 606, followed closely by Fontana at 602.

Los Angeles County led the state in foreclosure activity with 12,807 properties receiving filings. The city of Los Angeles recorded 2,616 of those filings, but north L.A. County areas of Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita and Pearblossom had the highest concentrations.

To see more details from the RealtyTrac report, CLICK HERE.

With foreclosure activity on the upswing, it’s more important than ever to ensure that, faced with the inability to make your home payments, you make the right choices. One misstep can result in a foreclosure on your record, which will be financially devastating to your credit rating and future ability to purchase a home before the next real estate boom begins.

We can help you choose from among the many alternatives available to avoid a foreclosure on your record. Call us today for a free evaluation to determine the best path for you. Or call 1-800-941-1900, ext 9003, to order a copy of the Brand-New Special Report, “The 9 Alternatives to Foreclosure.”

(Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin are Realtors and Ambassadors for Helping A Million Homeowners, a nationwide organization that is committed to helping alleviate the financial stress that so many homeowners face today. They can be reached directly at

Brian Bean and Timothy Hardin
Real Estate Professionals

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I’ve been specially trained to negotiate short sales with an emphasis on Deficiency Waivers

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