The month of January in 2014 experienced a decrease in the number of foreclosures in the United States which brought the total number of completed foreclosures to a six-year low. Despite the encouraging downward trend, however, there are still a number of states that saw a spike in the number of homes entering the foreclosure process. Such a spike is expected to result in a high number of completed foreclosures throughout the year. Nevertheless, there was a nationwide decrease of about 4 percent in the number of completed foreclosures between December and January, a period that saw banks reclaim 30,226 homes.
Completed foreclosures were also at their lowest level since July of 2007 and dropped a full 40 percent in the twelve months between January 2013 and last month. Still, states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Oregon experienced increases in foreclosures over the same period. Oregon was hit the hardest with a 25 percent increase over those 12 months, as nearly 800 homes went into some form of foreclosure. One county in particular saw 43 homes receive a foreclosure notice of one kind or another during the month of January, and roughly 50 percent of those ended up being repossessed.
While experts don’t think the rate of foreclosures will climb back to the level seen four to six years ago, they do still expect them to climb, at least during this first quarter of 2014. Many of these properties have simply been involved in a drawn out foreclosure process as a result of legal challenges and legislative action. For example, as a result of state legislation that was recently passed in Oregon, lenders in the state are now limited in their ability to file foreclosures until both they and the borrower have completed a mediation process. But the process takes nearly three times longer than was originally expected, and many of the properties that enter this process still end up in foreclosure.
To read more from The Register-Guard, click here.