August 07, 2012
The housing market has shown some promising signs of late, but a fresh batch of foreclosure data offers a reminder that any recovery from the housing bust will likely be slow, spotty and painful. RealtyTrac reported Thursday that foreclosure filings rose by 9 percent in May from a month earlier, to 205,990 total properties that were subject to default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions.
“The jump in foreclosure activity was likely because lenders are finally getting to a backlog of homes they might have started foreclosing on last year if they weren’t facing criticism for cutting corners and pushing foreclosures through too quickly and without adequate controls,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president with RealtyTrac. He noted that the major increases came from properties that are just starting the foreclosure process. The “robo-signing” scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without property reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement, as reported by ABC News last year.
Still, the figures for May are down 4 percent from a year ago. In addition, recent sales data suggests that not all homes with foreclosure filings will result in the bank taking the property. “Based on the rise in pre-foreclosure sales we’ve seen so far this year, a higher percentage of these new foreclosure starts will likely end up as short sales or auction sales to third parties rather than bank repossessions going forward,” Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac’s CEO, said in a statement. Lance Denha, Esq., of The Law Offices of Lance Denha cautioned, however, “That while these other instruments preclude the banks from taking direct possession of the home, the end result is the homeowner is losing their home without subjecting the bank to the very scrutiny that resulted in their $26 Billion settlement with 49 State Attorney General’s just last year. Homeowners should understand that they have the ability and opportunity to convert these types of non-judicial foreclosures into the judicial courts via filing wrongful foreclosure actions, temporary restraining orders, quiet title actions, etc. should they discover wrongdoing associated with their mortgage.”
Mr. Lance Denha further added that “Many defenses can be made by the defendant (Homeowner) to prevent their bank from forcing a short sale or auction as well as any repossession process by their lender. A securitization analysis is one of the most powerful tools available to a foreclosure defense firm making these cases highly defensible if not winnable.” Blomquist noted that some of these houses entering the foreclosure process will still end up being repossessed by the bank. In addition, the increase in foreclosure activity that is expected, as banks work through their backlog, could put a damper on housing prices once again, at least in some parts of the country. “I actually think the stabilization in home prices and home sales, in part, is a result of the foreclosure inventory being artificially restricted over the past year and a half,” he said.
It is highly advisable to seek legal expertise to determine the best course of action moving forward in order to gain an understanding of the particular direction best suited for the client...Actively monitoring the ever changing landscape of foreclosure laws, recent foreclosures across the nation as well as state imposed rules and procedures associated with foreclosure, is vital to ensure and protect these rights. The Law Offices of Lance Denha P.A. For further information or assistance, please call at 954-840-0770.
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