Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 126,868 U.S. properties in May 2015, up 1% from the previous month and up 16% from a year ago to a 19-month high, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.
The U.S. foreclosure rate in May was one in every 1,041 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
The increase in May was driven primarily by a jump in bank repossessions, which at 44,892 were down 1% from the previous month but up 58% from a year ago, and a 5% year-over-year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions.
REOs increased on a year-over-year basis for the third consecutive month, and scheduled foreclosure auctions have increased on a year-over-year basis in four of the last eight months. May REOs were 56% below the peak of 102,134 REOs in September 2013 but still nearly twice the average monthly number of 23,119 in 2005 and 2006 before the housing bubble burst in August 2006. (Also see special methodology note on REO data collection below.)
“May foreclosure numbers are a classic good news-bad news scenario, with the number of homeowners starting the foreclosure process stabilizing at pre-housing crisis levels but the number of homeowners actually losing their homes to foreclosure still well above pre-crisis levels and on the rise,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Lenders and courts are pushing through stubborn foreclosure cases that have been languishing in foreclosure limbo for years as options to prevent foreclosure are exhausted or left untapped.”
Following the national trend, 38 states and the District of Columbia posted year-over-year increases in REOs, including New Jersey (up 197%), New York (up 116%), Ohio (up 114%), Georgia (up 108%), Pennsylvania (up 106%), Florida (up 63%), Michigan (up 63%), Maryland (up 62%), and California (up 31%).