Foreclosure filings increased locally and around the state in August when compared with a year ago, according to data released by RealtyTrac, a national real estate analytics firm.
And nationally, the number of homes scheduled for foreclosure auction rose compared with the previous year for the first time in 45 months.
“The August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement accompanying the report. “The annual increase in foreclosure auctions — the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked the foreclosure industry back in late 2010 — indicates mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new paradigms for proper foreclosure that have been implemented in many states, whether by legislation or litigation or both.”
The number of properties nationwide that were scheduled for foreclosure auction was up 1 percent from 2013, and down 1 percent from July, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August.
In the Charlotte metropolitan statistical area, notices of foreclosure auctions rose 6.9 percent from August 2013 and were up 60.6 percent from July. Statewide, scheduled auctions were up 101.6 percent year over year and 83.5 percent over July.
Blomquist said in an interview that the state’s scheduled auctions have risen for three straight months when compared to the previous year, following 15 months of decreases in auctions.
Blomquist said the majority of these properties are left over from the housing crisis, as opposed to signaling any new problem in the market. Evidence of that, he said, is the fact that 71 percent of the loans on North Carolina homes in active foreclosure were made prior to 2008, before the housing bubble burst. Nationally, the figure is 79 percent, he said.
“The trend that we’re seeing in Charlotte is pretty reflective of the trend we’re seeing in other states, where the banks are pushing through what we believe is delayed foreclosures, properties were difficult to foreclose on for one reason or another, such as paperwork and getting their ducks in a row,” Blomquist said.
The Charlotte region’s increase in activity is being seen in the beginning of the foreclosure process; the number of homes that reverted to bank ownership following an unsuccessful auction fell compared with both the previous year and month in the Charlotte region, by 54.2 percent and 9.0 percent respectively.
Notices of default increased in the Charlotte MSA by 21.7 percent in August compared with July, and were up 182.0 percent since August 2013, but Blomquist cautioned that the company began using a different vender to collect the information in June, so the comparison may not be accurate.
Blomquist said RealtyTrac also has recently begun collecting data for N.C. counties that previously were not included, although he said that wouldn’t affect the Charlotte MSA numbers.
Total foreclosure activity in the Charlotte MSA, from notices of default through bank repurchases, was up 13.7 percent year over year and 27.4 percent from July. For the state, overall activity increased 89 percent annually and 35.4 percent monthly.
Nationally, total foreclosure filings were down 9 percent from a year ago, the smallest decrease in the last 47 months of year-over-year declines, according to RealtyTrac. However, filings increased 7 percent over July.
Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased annually in 24 states.
The states with the highest foreclosure rates are Florida, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia. Macon, Ga., posted the highest foreclosure rate among areas with a population of 200,000 or more, with foreclosure filing for one in every 154 housing units. Atlantic City, N.J., ranked second.