Bay Area Foreclosure Rate Continues Decline

Foreclosure rates continue to fall, instilling confidence in hopeful homeowners ready to get back to normal after sitting under water for the past few years. One in ever 954 Bay Area homes received a foreclosure filing in December. Notices of default, which is the first step in the foreclosure process were down 17% overall from November in 4 Silicon Valley counties from 1,237 to 1,025 according to ForeclosureRadar.

The decline in Bay Area foreclosures mirrors a trend nationwide, reflecting the growing governmental pressure on banks to favor loan modifications for homeowners instead of entering into a foreclosure. However, homeowners who still struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments remain in trouble. Nationwide, foreclosure inventory saw a 19.5 percent decrease from a year ago as inventory was reduced to 1.2 million homes from 1.5 million in December 2011.

Chief economist for Corelogic, Mark Fleming, says “The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20% smaller than a year ago. The big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory.” Foreclosures were down 21 percent to 56,000 in December from 71,000 a year ago. Before the housing market collapsed from 2000 to 2006, foreclosures were averaging about 21,000 per month. An estimated 4.1 million homes have been lost to foreclosure since 2008.

California Homes Lead Home Foreclosures Nationwide

California led the country with the 100,000 completed foreclosures over a one-year period. Despite this news, within the state these numbers have decreased dramatically and will continue to improve according to Madeline Schnapp at ForeclosureRadar. She says, “We think you’ll probably get back to normal, if nothing happens to disrupt the recovery, in probably another two to three years.” By “normal” she means the foreclosure rate will continue to decline and eventually return to what it had been before the housing market collapsed in 2008. Fingers crossed!