Foreclosure Management

A surge in foreclosure activity in much of the nation, experts say, is becoming a driving force in an increasingly sluggish real estate market since foreclosed properties are changing hands twice as fast as existing home sales. A recent report shows the national second-quarter foreclosure rate was higher than in any quarter of 2005. Risk of default and foreclosure rates show vulnerable markets have spread everywhere, reaching higher rates, especially on the West Coast.

Real estate research data from Foreclosures.com, for instance, show that since January, throughout California and in some counties in Arizona, respectively, there was a 40% and 30% increase in defaults. Even though some question how much data are available to the public, what is known so far does not show a very pretty picture. According to experts, for the first time ever, U.S. families have outstanding debt levels that exceed their incomes, which could lead to even higher foreclosure rates in the near future.

Meanwhile, some say, "The mortgage industry is killing each other for leads." No wonder the proposed sale of the domains, TaxForeclosures.com and TaxForeclosure.com, which represent an estimated $4.5 billion market, has attracted the attention of the industry.

Moreover, the fact that many customers have adjustable-rate mortgages and the existence of fraudulent practices helps increase loan default risk.

Citing recent industry data, customer advocates are warning customers and lenders about default risk associated with piggyback loans. A Standard & Poor's analysis of 640,000 piggyback mortgages indicates that first-lien mortgages connected with piggyback loans are 43% more likely to go into default than standalone first mortgages.

Also, lenders are trying to tackle risk mitigation using more sophisticated technology and analytical tools that help decode default case scenarios. Companies such as Edentify Inc. and Crimeline have teamed up to detect, fight and possibly prevent fraud. (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com