Home Repossessions Picked Up in May, RealtyTrac Reports

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
foreclosure on doormat of photo illustrationBy Alex Veiga

LOS ANGELES -- Lenders stepped up action last month against homeowners who had fallen behind on their mortgage payments, taking possession of more homes and initiating the foreclosure countdown clock on many others. Completed foreclosures jumped 11 percent nationally in May from the previous month, with monthly increases taking place in 33 states, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

The monthly pick up reflects a rise in homes entering the foreclosure process last year. Many of those homes wound their way through the often lengthy process and ended up becoming bank-owned properties. Home repossessions, however, were down 29 percent from May last year, reflecting the long-term downward trend.

Banks also started the foreclosure process on more homes last month. Foreclosure starts rose 4 percent from April, but were down 33 percent versus May last year, the firm said.
The increases come as the U.S. housing market continues to gain strength, propelled in part by growing demand for homes at a time when there's a thin supply of available homes for sale in many markets.

That dynamic has helped push home prices higher. They climbed nationally on an annual basis by 12.1 percent in April, the biggest gain since February 2006, according to data provider CoreLogic.
The combination of a tight inventory of homes for sale and rising prices makes for an opportune market for banks.

"Home prices are rising and demand is stronger, so they can recoup more of their losses when selling a bank-owned home, and in most cases should be able to sell relatively quickly," said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

The prospect of more bank-owned homes hitting the market also is good news for homebuyers struggling with the short supply of available homes. But not so great for homeowners, Blomquist said. "For homeowners who are current or own their homes outright, this could slow down the recent rapid rise in home price appreciation, which could mean the value of their home does not go up as quickly in the short term," he said.

That's an unwelcome development, particularly for homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage, or owe more than their home is worth. As of the end of March, 19.8 percent of all U.S. homes with a mortgage were underwater, according to data provider CoreLogic. Rising home prices have helped drive that number down from 21.7 percent at the end of last year, and returned roughly 850,000 homes to a state of positive equity in the first three months of this year.

All told, 38,946 homes were taken back by lenders last month. Repossessions increased on a monthly basis in 33 states, including North Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin. At the current pace, the nation is on track to finish the year with about a half million completed foreclosures, down from 670,000 last year, Blomquist said.

Foreclosure starts totaled 72,698 homes. They increased on a monthly basis in 26 states and rose on an annual basis in 14 states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii and Arkansas.
Florida led the nation last month with an overall foreclosure rate nearly three times the national average. Rounding out the top three were Nevada and Ohio.

14 PHOTOS
14 Cities With the Most Foreclosures
See Gallery
Home Repossessions Picked Up in May, RealtyTrac Reports

1 in every 417 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 748
Change from February 2013: -7.54 percent
Change from March 2012: +19.87 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Akron, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Threeblur0/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 416 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 924
Change from February 2013: +0.11 percent
Change from March 2012: +106.71 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Dayton, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Uriel 1998/Flickr

1 in every 411 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 260
Change from February 2013: +124.14 percent
Change from March 2012: +584.21 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Olympia, Wash., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Quiltsalad/Flickr

1 in every 395 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 541
Change from February 2013: +11.55 percent
Change from March 2012: +23.52 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Port St. Lucie, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: sylvar/Flickr

1 in every 351 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 766
Change from February 2013: -25.99 percent
Change from March 2012: -2.30 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Palm Bay, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: MicheleHaro/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 342 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 11,070
Change from February 2013: -3.27 percent
Change from March 2012: -13.64 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Chicago, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 321 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 508
Change from February 2013: -24.29 percent
Change from March 2012: +15.98 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Ocala, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Luv24jmg/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 319 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 2,476
Change from February 2013: +52.37 percent
Change from March 2012: +62.25 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Columbus, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: John Mueller/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 313 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 4,300
Change from February 2013: -19.11 percent
Change from March 2012: 18.33 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Tampa, Fla., or search listings in your area.

Photo: LoneStarMike/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 309 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 1,923
Change from February 2013: -2.44 percent
Change from March 2012: +3.78 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Jacksonville, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Excel23/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 299 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 487
Change from February 2013: -2.60 percent
Change from March 2012: -14.41 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Rockford, Ill., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Ben Jacobson/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 291 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 3,200
Change from February 2013: -22.78 percent
Change from March 2012: +6.77 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Orlando, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Bill Dickinson/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 264 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 3,143
Change from February 2013: +7.05 percent
Change from March 2012: -4.79 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Las Vegas, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Lasvegaslover/Wikimedia Commons

1 in every 222 homes received a foreclosure filing in March 2013
Properties with foreclosure filings: 11,078
Change from February 2013: -1.41 percent
Change from March 2012: +11.40 percent

Find foreclosures for sale in Miami, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Marc Averette/Wikimedia Commons

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

See more about repossessions and foreclosures:
What's Behind the Foreclosure Surge in New York, New Jersey
Why Buyers Should Consider Foreclosures or Short Sales
Here's What You Can Buy With Your Foreclosure Settlement

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
Find
homes for sale in your area.
Find
foreclosures in your area.
Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.
Read Full Story

Find a Home

Buy
Rent
Value
Powered by Zillow

People are Reading