Foreclosure Activity Rises 15%, REOs Up 31%

Filings were reported on 315,716 U.S. properties in January, an increase of 15% from a year ago. REO activity nationwide was down 5 percent from December but still up a whopping 31% from January 2009, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac.

Default notices decreased 12% month-to-month but increased 4 percent from a year ago, and scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 11% from the previous month but still up 15% from January 2009. “January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago; a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10 percent drop in January,” said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. “If history repeats itself we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure alternatives works,”