There has been evidence here and there of a marked fall in new foreclosure filings. Lender Processing Services, which handles more than half of the loans serviced in the US, said its revenues in its Default Services Group were down in the final quarter of the year. Why? Its revenues are tied to initial foreclosure filings, and its were off 33%, no doubt in large measure due to the robo signing scandal. Recall that it led many banks to halt foreclosures (some all over the US, others in judicial foreclosure states only) while they inspected the state of play and scrambled to revamp procedures. Banks piously claimed that they found no problems in the correctness of foreclosure actions and that ex making the changes needed to assure affidavits were proper, they were going to be back to business as usual post haste.
Now we already know that that isn’t the case. Since the robosigning scandal broke, foreclosure activity has been down. RealtyTrac reported that foreclosures in January were up only 1% over December levels, which was down 17% from the year prior.
But RealtyTrac captures every foreclosure filing in that particular report, so it is a mix of new foreclosure filings plus additional filings for foreclosures already underway (the number of filings required varies by state, but the minimum number is three, and the number can also be increased if a borrower gets a foreclosure suspended, say by entering into a payment catchup plan, and then has the process restarted later on).
Lynn Syzmoniak of Fraud Digest provides a snapshot for January 1 through January 26 in two counties in Florida, Lee County and Palm Beach County
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