Falling Rate of Foreclosure Filings in 2011
You may think that foreclosure filings falling in 2011 is great news and that the housing crisis is improving, however, it would appear that this reduced rate is just a delay of the inevitable. Many realty experts have claimed that this reduction in rate of foreclosure filings is related to government intervention, shoddy foreclosure practices and banks’ unwillingness to follow through with foreclosures, not an indication that homeowners are in better financial shape than they were in 2010.
According to real estate experts, RealtyTrac foreclosure filings fell twenty one percent in the Seattle Metro area, twenty four percent in the state of Washington and thirty four percent nationally. Although there were fewer home owners that had foreclosures filed on their homes and fewer homes repossessed, this is not an indicator that the economy is improving or family’s finances are improving. Experts agreed that the drop in filing rates is attributed in large part to government intervention.
Essentially, the reduction in rates is artificially caused due to programs released by the federal government in an attempt to help distressed homeowners. However, most of those programs fell short of expectations and did not help as many homeowners as was claimed. This may lead to a significant increase in 2012 from both 2010 and 2011 rates of foreclosed filings.
Some of the government’s attempts to help home owners were revealed in April of 2011 when the federal government mandated outside auditors to be hired by eight national banks. These auditors were hired to review the foreclosure practices of these banks.
Bank of America was also sued by a state law attorney for illegally foreclosing on thousands of homes within a three year period. The lawsuit may have also had a hand in the reduction of foreclosure filings. After the lawsuit was filed, the rate of foreclosure filings dropped nearly in half.
States are also getting involved trying to prevent foreclosure, but their interventions are depressing the values of homes which will lead to an increase of new foreclosures. Depressed home values also hurt home owners trying to sell their homes as well as an increase of mortgages that will enter into default.
RealtyTrac states as many as one million foreclosures that would have taken place in 2011 were pushed back until 2012 or later. Many experts agree there will not be a significant turnaround in the US housing economy until job creation increases and people begin to make a sustainable income once again.
However, the economy is stagnant and continues to hold a recessive pattern and distressed home owners that did benefit from government intervention are not seeing an improvement on their financial situations as unemployment numbers continue to rise.
Whether home owners secured a home equity line of credit or a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage, they are all seeing the value of their homes decreased without a significant improvement in their finances. Millions of home owners across the nation may see their homes repossessed in 2012 despite federal and state intervention programs.