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U.S. Foreclosures Index Shows More Than 107,500 Homes Lost in September.

ForeclosureS.com Index Provides First Look at September Information; Nearly 750,000 Foreclosed Homes So Far This Year

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Foreclosures have left nearly three-quarters of a million people out of their homes nationwide so far this year--including more than 107,500 in September alone, according to ForeclosureS.com's U.S. Foreclosures Index, the first look at September's foreclosure numbers in the wake of the nation's financial markets fiasco and congressional bailout.

This year's foreclosures mean that 10.3 of every 1,000 households has been foreclosed this year, according to ForeclosureS.com, a national leader in foreclosure and property information.

ForeclosureS.com analysis shows the foreclosure tidal wave unabated. Foreclosures are up 6.6% from August to September, 25.8% from the second quarter to the third quarter, and 82.6% year-to-date compared with the same time a year ago. Foreclosures remain on track to surpass 1 million by year-end. Pre-foreclosures--which include notices of default and/or foreclosure auction prior to actual foreclosure--should end up a record 2 million, ForeclosureS.com reports.

ForeclosureS.com's comprehensive analysis of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure proceedings nationwide is based on the number of formal notices filed against a property during the foreclosure process. That can include notice of default, notice of foreclosure auction, and/or notice of REO--lender-owned real estate that occurs after a foreclosed property reverts back to the lender. (All pre-foreclosure filings do not end up in foreclosure)

"Not all of these first September foreclosure numbers, however, are glum," says Alexis McGee, president of ForeclosureS.com and author of The ForeclosureS.com Guide to Advanced Investing Techniques You Won't Learn Anywhere Else (Wiley), and The ForeclosureS.com Guide to Making Huge Profits Investing in Pre-foreclosures without Selling Your Soul (Wiley). "Pre-foreclosure filings last month actually dropped 2.4% nationally, fueled by double-digit filing declines in California (off 38.6%), Michigan (down 36.2%), and Texas (off 13.1%). That's great news as the nation's financial markets struggle to regroup in the wake of the credit market meltdown," says McGee.

"But despite what you'll likely hear from market optimists, be careful reading too much into the drop," McGee said. "The gains likely are temporary and not necessarily indicative of the foreclosure crisis easing just yet. Instead, especially in California, the drop in part is the result of new laws that require mortgage lenders to give financially strapped homeowners extra time to work things out before a foreclosure notice is filed. That means in another month or so pre-foreclosure filings probably will spike again because tens of thousands of overextended homeowners remain in financial trouble with their mortgages."

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 7.8 of every 1,000 households nationwide faced pre-foreclosure. That's 561,467 homeowners, up 3.7% from the second quarter of the year. Pre-foreclosure filings year to date are up 81.4% from the same time last year. That translates to 22.4 of every 1,000 households in trouble today, according to ForeclosureS.com analysis. Also in the third quarter, nationwide 300,773 REOs were filed (4.1 of every 1,000 households lost to foreclosure), with nearly a third (89,450 filings) in California. Arizona (31,882 filings) and Florida (29,591) together accounted for another nearly 61,500 filings, ForeclosureS.com reports.

"With foreclosures and the nation's economic fiasco dominating the news, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that tens of millions of other homeowners month in and month out still meet their mortgage obligations," says McGee. "Savvy homeowners and investors also are beginning to recognize that today's housing market woes translate into opportunities for buyers. If you're an investor or just looking for a bargain on a home, the shakeup in the commercial and retail banking sectors coupled with tightened credit and rising foreclosures have created a fantastic buying opportunity. Financial institutions want to raise quick capital and are unloading nonperforming assets--read that REOs. That can mean great deals and discounts if you know how to buy right," says McGee.

"Forget the foreclosure hype. Do your homework; learn the right way to figure the numbers; pay attention to the fine print, and get out there and buy right. It's your market, your choice, and your time. Credit and cash are available for home buyers and investors alike. It may take a bit more effort on your part, but the prize is worth it. Markets are bottoming and the right houses are selling quickly. You can buy and sell, putting your profits in the bank, in today's market," McGee adds.

With its data base of more than 5.5 million property listings, ForeclosureS.com has been the professional's source for accurate foreclosure property information for more than 20 years. For more information on ForeclosureS.com and its products, please visit www.ForeclosureS.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 9, 2008
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