Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011-10-13 "Solano County still second in U.S. foreclosures; Las Vegas tops list; Stockton is third" by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen from "Vallejo Times-Herald" newspaper
Solano County had the nation's second-highest foreclosure rate in the last quarter, a new industry report reveals.
The area has been in the top two or three for foreclosures for about five years, since the crisis began, experts say.
RealtyTrac's most recent quarterly report shows California cities accounted for 15 of the top 25 metro-area foreclosure rates, led by the Vallejo-Fairfield area. Here, one in every 51 housing units had a foreclosure filing during the third quarter. Close behind were Stockton at No. 3 (one in 52 housing units), followed by Modesto with one in 53 housing units with filings. With one in 56 housing units in foreclosure, Riverside-San Bernardino ranked fifth.
Nevada cities accounted for two of the top 25 metro foreclosure rates last quarter, led by Las Vegas at No. 1, with one in every 39 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for the third quarter of 2011, released Wednesday, shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- in one in every 213 U.S. housing units.
Foreclosure filings fell 6 percent nationally in September from August and 38 percent from last year -- the 12th consecutive month with foreclosure activity decreases on a year-over-year basis, the report shows. Some believe, though, it may be a temporary reprieve.
The fallout from the so-called foreclosure "robo-signing" controversy sparked a moratorium and a slow-down in foreclosure filings, which won't last, they say.
"While foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter continued to register well below levels from a year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up," RealtyTrac chief executive officer James Saccacio said.
Local Realtor Linda Cook also predicts an increase.
"Foreclosures are down but there hasn't been a rise in the number of short sales, which you would expect, since I don't think fewer people are losing their homes," she said. "But, honestly, there's really no rhyme or reason to this market. We are absolutely not out of the woods yet. We've got another couple years of this mess."

2011-09-15 "Solano County is third highest in U.S. foreclosures" by from "Vallejo Times-Herald" newspaper
A fraction of a percentage point saved Solano County from having the nation's second highest foreclosure rate in August, according to an industry report released today. But the foreclosure trend here remains down overall, the report shows.
RealtyTrac's latest report shows that the Vallejo-Fairfield Metropolitan Statistical Area squeaked into third place after Modesto by a fraction of a percentage in foreclosure rankings of the top 10 U.S. areas with populations of at least 200,000, agency spokesman Daren Blomquist said.
The report also found that nearly 70 percent more Solano County homes received default notices in August than in July.
"One in every 129 housing units in Vallejo-Fairfield entered some stage of foreclosure in August, which is actually the same as Modesto," Blomquist said. "It's basically a virtual tie."
In first-ranked Las Vegas, 1 of every 103 housing units entered foreclosure, the report shows.
The report found default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 228,098 U.S. properties in August, a 7 percent increase from July, but still down nearly 33 percent from August 2010. The report also shows one in every 570 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
Default notices increased more than 40 percent on a month-over-month basis in several states, including California (55 percent), New Jersey (42 percent) and Indiana (46 percent), but were still down from a year ago in all those states.
"The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems," RealtyTrac chief executive officer James Saccacio said. "It also foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process."
Compared to last year, however, Solano County's foreclosure activity is down about 4 percent, and it's the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases, Blomquist said.
"What this likely means, particularly in California where we've seen pretty consistent decreases in activity over the past year and a half, a pattern like that usually means we're past the foreclosure peak," he said. "The peak was probably late 2009, early 2010 in the Vallejo-Fairfield area."
But the area's not completely in the clear, yet, he said.
"Vallejo was hit so hard by the foreclosure crisis, it has a long way to go before foreclosure activity is at a normal level," he said.
To get an idea what a normal level might be, in 2006, there were about 300 foreclosure filings monthly in Solano County, and now there are about 1,000 -- a 233 percent increase, he said.
So, despite the downward trend, "the default spike means your area is not out of the woods," he said. "There's still distressed properties and homeowners facing foreclosure."

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