N.C. home foreclosure actions jump in April but are down from 2008

Posted May 13, 2009

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— Foreclosure actions ballooned in North Carolina in April, up 56 percent from March, according to data from national foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.

However, the latest statistics also are a 15 percent drop from April of last year as the nationwide housing market crunch began to unfold.

North Carolina, the nation’s 10th largest state in terms of population, is ranked 34th in foreclosure activity.

The California-based firm reported grim news nationwide as well Wednesday, noting that the number of U.S. households faced with losing their homes to foreclosure jumped 32 percent in April compared with the same month last year.

Nevada, Florida and California have the highest rates.

More than 342,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in April, RealtyTrac Inc. said. That means one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing last month, the highest monthly rate since the Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing firm began its report in January 2005.

April was the second straight month with more than 300,000 households receiving a foreclosure filing, as the number of borrowers with mortgage troubles failed to abate.

The April number, however, was less than one percent above that posted in March, when more than 340,000 properties were affected. The March data was up 17 percent from February and 46 percent from a year earlier.

"We've never seen two consecutive months like this," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's senior vice president for marketing. "It's the volume that's surprising."

In North Carolina, some 3,082 homes or properties are in some state of foreclosure. The total includes 648 notices of default, 1,371 properties that are involved in a trustee or foreclosure action, and 1,063 properties that were actually foreclosed.

The total works out to one in every 1,339 households.

While total foreclosure activity was up, the number of repossessions by banks was down on a monthly and annual basis to their lowest level since March of last year, RealtyTrac said.

But that's far from positive news. Because much of the foreclosure activity in April was in the default and auction stages - the first parts of the foreclosure process - it's likely that repossessions will increase in coming months, RealtyTrac said.

About 63,900 homes were repossessed in April, down 11 percent from about 71,700 in March, RealtyTrac said. But the mortgage industry has resumed cracking down on delinquent borrowers after foreclosures were temporarily halted by mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, together with many other lenders.

"All of these loans are now being processed pretty rapidly by the servers," Sharga said.

Help might be on the way. The Obama administration announced a plan in March to provide $75 billion in incentive payments for the mortgage industry to modify loans to help up to 9 million borrowers avoid foreclosure. But the extent of the relief remains unclear, with questions lingering about how much the lending industry will cooperate in modifying loans.

After banks take over foreclosed homes, they usually put them up for sale at deep discounts. Nationwide, sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties made up about half of the market in the first quarter, the National Association of Realtors reported.

First-quarter home sales fell in all but six states - Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida, Virginia and Minnesota - where buyers have been able to grab foreclosed homes at discounts, the realtors group said Tuesday.

On a state-by-state basis, Nevada had one in every 68 households receive a foreclosure filing, down 18 percent from March but still the nation's highest rate. In Florida, one in every 135 households received a filing in April. For California, the rate was one in every 138 households.

Rounding out the top 10 were Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio.

Among large cities, Las Vegas led the way with one in every 56 households receiving a filing. That was a slightly higher rate than the southwest Florida metro area of Cape Coral-Fort Myers, which saw one in 57 housing units receive a filing.

Cities in California took the next six spots: Merced, Modesto, Riverside-San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Vallejo-Fairfield and Stockton. The Florida cities of Miami and Orlando were ninth and 10th, respectively.


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  • wildervb May 13, 2009


    I work in IT (lucky to still have a job), the outsourcing sickens me. Much of the work being done abroad is inferior, mainly because those doing the job have no insight into what businesses actually need. They can write code, but don't ask basic questions that a local programmer/analyst would.

    The company I work for seems to just accept the inferior products as the current accepted mode of doing business.

    It does go back to greed doesn't it? The CEO's and top brass get a nice bonus for cutting costs, the rank and file workers get the short end of the stick.

  • Raleigh Boys May 13, 2009

    Last year no one said the word recession, until after the election. Next year they will call this a depression. We are still sinking, have not hit the bottom yet.

  • TheAdmiral May 13, 2009

    This economy, as much as they want it to be working, is shooting down the tubes. People have gotten their tax refunds back and paid down their credit cards so when they loose their house can have something to purchase food with.

    They are holding on to the plastic more than their home.

  • TheAdmiral May 13, 2009

    I have had my house since early 2003, 6 years. Lost my job, and now am in the midst of telling the bank to come and get it because I have gone through my emergency funds, and now just live on unemployment.

    So I am one of those people who are the problem. Why? because I lost my job because some company decided that a little indian man in Bangalore can do my job better than I could?

    How about the six times they called me in order to solve problems and I told them that the price is $350 per hour minimum of two?

    So am I part of the problem, even after leaving 20% down or is the next wave of foreclosures are going to be the ones who lived paycheck to paycheck and their benefits are running out?

  • time4real May 13, 2009

    double wide sales are up to N&O former employees!

  • mrduright May 13, 2009

    First of all you don’t know me and second I have done no such thing. You cant just go pick out a house if that were the case mine would be a lot bigger, secondly if it were that easy to get credit then everyone would have a BMW in their driveway. This is a global recession try to understand that if you can, it happening all aver the world.

  • wildervb May 13, 2009

    I would say that most of the problem was caused by greed. Banks found an easy way to make money, it didn't matter to them if the buyers couldn't afford it, as long as the prices kept going up they could recoup their loses.

    Realtors, Builders and Speculators all jumped in to inflate the housing bubble even more. They all made lots of money as housing prices inflated well beyong what was affordable to most people.

    When the bubble collapsed as it inevitably had to, banks and speculators were left holding the bag. Banks now are over loaded with bad loans, speculators with properties with a negative equity.

    Not everyone who bought a home in the last five years was being irresponsible, they paid the market rate, most of these people are still making payments on their over priced homes. When these people lose a job, selling isn't an option, since the house is now worth less than the loan. Many are forced to go to foreclosure.

    Solution: Always require a 20% Down payment!

  • bngexpress May 13, 2009

    this is a perfect example of a age old saying"BECAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR , YOU JUST MAY GET IT".

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy May 13, 2009

    mrduright.....I already KNOW that YOU are part of the problem! You're one of those that handed out some of the "Adjustable" mortgages to those people that have had thier homes for 4 plus years....and how long do most of them go before "Adjusting" to a rate that is higher than those people can afford???? 3-4 years, so please spare me your attitude...YOU SIR are the problem!

  • mrduright May 13, 2009


    loans based on race what are you smoking, homeownership for whites is 72% not other race comes close this mess was based on greed pure and simple so stop your whining