Foreclosure statistics in 2013 have seemed a bit contradictory. Why, when the housing market is clearly improving are completed foreclosure rising? What about the “shadow inventory” and remaining distressed properties?
RealtyTrac reports that during the first 10 month of 2013 a total of 13,531 Washington homes competed the foreclosure process and were returned to the lender. That is more than the 11,544 home reported for full-year 2012. Why? The reason is largely due to the Foreclosure Fairness Act passed by the state legislature which mandated that properties in jeopardy or foreclosure go through a period of mediation where the borrower and lender attempted to negotiate equitable repayment terms which would allow the family to remain in their home. Unfortunately, many of those loans were too far underwater to benefit, and the foreclosures ultimately resumed.
More encouraging was progress in terms of seriously delinquent mortgages. While several sources of this type data exist, the Runstad Center uses information compiled by the Mortgage Banker Association of America. They report the number of outstanding mortgages and the share of those mortgages that are at least 90-datys past due or at some stage of the foreclosure process (but not yet REO). As of the end of September, there ware still 55,900 mortgages in the state which were seriously delinquent. As bad as the number is, it is 20,000 fewer than a year ago.