Foreclosures up again

July 30, 2009

Late last night, RealtyTrac updated its foreclosure data through the end of June.

A total of 1,905,723 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 1,528,364 U.S. properties in the first six months of 2009, a 9 percent increase in total properties from the previous six months and a nearly 15 percent increase in total properties from the first six months of 2008…The report also shows that 1.19 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 84) received at least one foreclosure filing in the first half of the year.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 336,173 U.S. properties in June, the fourth straight monthly total exceeding 300,000 and helping to boost the second quarter total to the highest quarterly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in the first quarter of 2005. Foreclosure filings were reported on 889,829 U.S. properties in the second quarter, an increase of nearly 11 percent from the previous quarter and a 20 percent increase from the second quarter of 2008.

“In spite of the industry-wide [foreclosure] moratorium earlier this year, along with local, state and national legislative action and increased levels of loan modification activity, foreclosure activity continues to increase to record levels,” noted James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Unemployment-related foreclosures account for much of this increased activity, and the high number of borrowers who find themselves owing more on their mortgages than their homes’ are now worth represent a potentially significant future risk….

All of these foreclosures mean more real-estate owned (REOs) for banks.  Much of that supply has yet to hit the market.  Anyone who thinks the latest Case-Shiller data indicates house prices have bottomed should keep that in mind.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

All the talk of a recovery really irks me. Your point — that there is a lot of bank-owned housing that has yet to hit the market — as well as the continued high pace of job loss indicate that recovery is way, way down the road.

Posted by Rhea | Report as abusive


Posted by Richard Dietrich | Report as abusive

What recovery?

Posted by Richard Dietrich | Report as abusive

Duh – phony mortgages are still being given to unqualified people for overpriced homes as the government wastes billions bailing them out only to have half default again in the next six months – its like trying to bail out the Titanic. Forget bailing – unless the hole is plugged, the whole stinking mess is going down.

Posted by Gosh | Report as abusive

Prime foreclosures are gaining steam. This will trigger another big drop in our financial system: foreclosures-hit-record-levels-in-june.h tml

Posted by DaveInDenver | Report as abusive

Thank you for your article. We’ve linked it from our Banking site.

We know these facts are true and that the turnaround is NOT going as well as many in the news and certainly government would have us believe.

We’ve found that the top tier banks, many of whom have taken bail out money, are NOT selling their REO property now because they don’t have to raise capital. Between the capital influx from equity markets, the bail out money and “the bubble” we’re in (called denial), the banks are doing better and have told us, we’re not interested in selling. How do we know? We’re interested in buying.

DR Rawson

Posted by DR Rawson | Report as abusive

The Banks have owned so many things and turned out to be a large recycle bin – tonnes of toxic asset waste + millions of properties. Very soon, with rotten credit cards and commercial properties.

Banks have to find some “innovative” way to put all those stuffs back in “My Documents” or “My Computer”. They will soon suck the hard drive.

Or we borrow more drive capacity! Maybe we can get some bargains from China.

The other way may just simply delete those “files”, if possible at all

Posted by Rose Eli | Report as abusive

So, yeah, foreclosures are still happening. Probably will continue to drive down home prices for awhile longer. And builders will continue to build as long as they can get financing, no matter the excessive housing inventory. But the nation will gradually work its way through this with some degree of pain. It will take another year or two — maybe even three. Then with all the money the government has poured into the system, WATCH OUT! Here comes a round or two of horrific inflation. Those hoarding their dollars will lose considerable purchasing power against the other major currencies.

Posted by schmendric | Report as abusive