Arizona No. 2 for home foreclosures in first half of 2012
“First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1933
Phoenix Business Journal by Kristena Hansen, Reporter
Although home foreclosure activity throughout Arizona is steadily slowing, the latest report released Wednesday evening by RealtyTrac shows the state still has a long ways to go, posting the second-highest foreclosure rate in the nation in the first six months of 2012.
The number of Arizona homes that began the foreclosure process during the first half of 2012 tumbled 37 percent from the same period last year and declined 6 percent from the second half of 2011, according to the RealtyTrac report.
In actual numbers, the state counted roughly 49,100 homes — or one in every 58 homes — in the foreclosure process during the first half of this year.
Despite the improvements, Arizona’s foreclosure activity during the recent six-month period still fared worse than any other state, with the exception of Nevada.
The Grand Canyon state posted a 1.73 percent foreclosure rate in the first half of the year, trailing just a shade behind Nevada’s No. 1 spot at 1.76 percent, the report said.
In the second quarter ending June 30, foreclosure starts throughout Arizona actually jumped 11 percent from the first quarter. However, the second-quarter foreclosure starts were 14 percent lower than the same time last year, the report said.
California and Georgia joined Arizona and Nevada in posting the highest foreclosure rates in the nation during the first six months of 2012, the RealtyTrac report said.
Georgia’s 1.6 percent foreclosure rate ranked third highest, while California trailed closely behind at 1.56 percent.
Others ranking in the top 10 highest foreclosure rates included Illinois, 1.4 percent; Michigan, 1.02 percent; Colorado, 0.97 percent; Ohio, 0.94 percent; and Utah, 0.93 percent.
As for foreclosure starts, 20 states saw an increase in such figures during the first half of 2012, the report said.
Indiana ranked No. 1, posting a 32 percent gain in the number of homes that began the foreclosure process during the six month period.
Arkansas, Maine and Nevada, however, saw the biggest improvements in foreclosure starts during the recent six-month period.
Arkansas landed the No. 1 spot with its whopping 76.7 percent plunge in foreclosure starts from last year.
Roughly 1.04 million homes nationwide — or one in 126 homes — began the foreclosure process during the first half of 2012, down nearly 11 percent from the same time last year, the RealtyTrac report said.
That brought the nation’s foreclosure rate for the recent six-month period to 0.79 percent.
Although year-over-year foreclosure starts declined nationwide, the first half of 2012 was still 2 percent higher than foreclosure starts in the last half of 2011, the report said.
“Additional scrutiny on how lenders and servicers process foreclosures, along with aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts by the federal government and several state governments, continue to keep a lid on the foreclosure problem at a national level,” said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore in a prepared statement.
At the same time, however, foreclosure starts began “boiling over” in some markets during the recent six month period — especially in the second quarter, he said.
“Lenders and servicers are slowly but surely catching up with the backlog of delinquent loans that, under normal circumstances, would have started the foreclosure process last year, and that catching up is why the average time to complete the foreclosure process started to level off or decrease in some states in the second quarter,” Moore said. “The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of the year and into next year.”
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