Banks Pushed Hard To Close Out ‘Legacy’ Foreclosures In Q4

Mortgage Orb - Patrick Barnard - 13 January 2017

More than half of the foreclosures that were completed in the fourth quarter were “legacy” files, going back to 2004-2008, a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows.

“Foreclosures completed in the fourth quarter had been in the foreclosure process 803 days on average – a substantial jump from the third quarter and indicating that banks pushed through significant numbers of legacy foreclosures during the quarter,” reports Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, in the firm’s Year-End 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. “Despite that push, we still show that more than half of all active foreclosures nationwide are on loans originated between 2004 and 2008, with a much higher share of legacy foreclosures in some markets.”

The report shows that foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 933,045 properties in 2016, which is down 14% from 2015 to reach the lowest level since 2006, when there were 717,522 properties with foreclosure filings.

Foreclosure starts reached 478,857 for the year – down 16% compared with 2015 and down 78% compared with the peak of 2.139 million foreclosures in 2009. In fact, it was the lowest rate since ATTOM began tracking foreclosure starts in 2006.

The report also shows that 0.70% of all U.S. housing units had at least one foreclosure filing in 2016 – the lowest annual foreclosure rate nationwide since 2006, when 0.58% of housing units had at least one foreclosure filing.

So, where are most of those “legacy” files? According to ATTOM, states with the biggest backlogs (highest numbers) of legacy foreclosures, as of the end of December, include New Jersey (32,279), New York (31,838), Florida (29,411), California (17,208) and Illinois (12,244).

States with the biggest shares of legacy foreclosures include the District of Columbia (76%), Hawaii (66%), New Jersey (64%), Nevada (63%), Delaware (61%) and Massachusetts (61%t).