February 2012 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report: Foreclosure Tide Rising in Half of Largest Metro Areas

March 15, 2012 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for February 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 206,900 U.S. properties in February. That was a 2 percent decrease from the previous month and was down 8 percent from February 2011 — the lowest annual decrease since October 2010. The report also shows one in every 637 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

“February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed,” said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Although national foreclosure activity was pushed lower by decreases in a handful of larger states, 21 states posted annual increases in foreclosure activity, the most states with annual increases since November 2010.

“The foreclosure and mortgage settlement filed in court earlier this week will help pave the way to a properly functioning foreclosure process by providing a clear roadmap for necessary foreclosures,” Moore continued. “That should result in more states posting annual increases in the coming months. Not surprisingly, many of the biggest annual increases in February were in states with the more bureaucratic judicial foreclosure process, which resulted in a larger backlog of foreclosures built up over the last 18 months in those states.”