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Foreclosure Auctions Climb in 27 States as Filings Decline

FEB 13, 2014 11:29am ET
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Scheduled home auctions rose last month from a year earlier in 27 states, bucking a decline in foreclosure filings across the U.S., RealtyTrac said.

The scheduling of foreclosure auctions, which begin the repossession process in some states, climbed more than fourfold in Oregon, increased more than threefold in Connecticut and doubled in Maryland, the Irvine, Calif.-based data firm said in a statement today. Auctions gained 73% in both New York and Nevada, the company said.

States with court oversight of repossessions, including New York and Connecticut, are working through a backlog of mortgage delinquencies, showing that the foreclosure crisis is lingering even as the housing market rebounds. Home prices rose 13.7% in November from the prior year, the most since 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities.

"Many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said in the statement.

New York auctions rose to the highest level since October 2010, and in Nevada they reached a 23-month high, according to the data firm.

A total of 124,419 U.S. properties received default, auction and repossession notices last month, down 18% from a year earlier and the 40th straight monthly decline on an annual basis, RealtyTrac said. Filings rose 8% from December, a typical increase after a "holiday lull," Blomquist said.

Properties receiving foreclosure filings for the first time totaled 57,259, down 12% from a year earlier. It was the 18th consecutive month of annual declines in foreclosure starts, RealtyTrac said.

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