The number of Jacksonvillle-area homes receiving initial mailings about foreclosure proceedings dropped 53 percent in January compared with January 2010, but the number of homes seized by lending institutions in the area rose 33 percent.
The fact that the speed of filings has slowed could result from a bank-imposed freeze on foreclosure proceedings that lasted from September through December.
Overall, the number of all foreclosure-related notices sent out to addresses in the Jacksonville metropolitan area – regardless of the point in the foreclosure process – rose in January from December by 8 percent, according to real estate data aggregator RealtyTrac. Total foreclosure mailings dropped by 40 percent in January 2011 from January 2010.
The foreclosure notice numbers dropped by 27 percent in Clay County from December to January, but rose in St. Johns County by 96 percent during the same time.
Throughout the metropolitan area, foreclosure actions affected one Jacksonville-area home out of every 391 in January, ranking the city 44th most affected by foreclosure activity nationwide.
Nationwide, fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process in January than in any month in more than three years, The Associated Press reported. That’s a sign that lenders are taking longer to move against homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments.
“We are still seeing the lingering after-effects of the documentation issues that plagued lenders through the last quarter of 2010,” Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac, told the AP.
“In some cases, courts are being more demanding and more particular about what they’ll even allow to go into foreclosure.”
In Florida, the number of homes receiving a foreclosure-related warning last month dropped nearly 16 percent from December and about 54 percent from the same month last year.
But even with the sharp decline, Florida still had the second-highest number of homes in some stage of foreclosure, RealtyTrac data showed.
Similar to the trend seen in the Jacksonville area, lenders may be taking longer to move homes throughout the nation into the initial stage of the foreclosure process, but they stepped up home repossessions in January.
Banks took back 78,133 properties nationwide last month, an increase of 12 percent from December – but fewer than in January 2010, RealtyTrac said.
The January total for the U.S. was down 11 percent from a year earlier.
Source: Jacksonville Business Journal