Foreclosure activity continues to slow throughout the United States.
According to data from RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure-tracking firm, the number of foreclosure filings dipped below 215,000 in September 2011, a 6 percent decrease from August. (A “foreclosure filing” is defined as any foreclosure-related action.)
September marks the 12th straight month in which foreclosure filings fell year-over-year.
There are several reasons why foreclosure filings are down, including an increase in the amount of time it takes banks to move a foreclosure through its pipeline. It now takes a nationwide average of 336 days from the date of initial default notice to bank repossession. Homes in New York take an average of 986 days to foreclose (the longest in the country) – compared to Texas, the quickest state to foreclose, registering just 86 days.
As in prior months, bank repossessions remain concentrated by state. Just 6 states accounted for half of the country’s REO last month:
- California : 16.6 percent
- Georgia : 8.5 percent
- Florida : 8.3 percent
- Texas : 6.2 percent
- Michigan : 6.1 percent
- Illinois : 5.2 percent
Collectively, these 6 states represent just 36 percent of the nation’s population.
By contrast, the bottom 6 states were home to just 192 repossessions last month — 0.3% of the national total. Those 6 states were Alaska, Wyoming, District of Columbia, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont.
Shopping for foreclosed properties on Long Island can be an excellent way to get “a deal” – but are often sold “as-is”. This means that homes listed for sale may be defective or out-of-code.
Before placing a bid on a foreclosed home, make sure that you’re represented by an experienced real estate professional. Home inspections may have to be completed quickly – and are often only so the buyer knows what repairs and upgrades are required – as the bank will not renegotiate the price. Choose an attorney who is experienced in handling short sales and REO’s and knows how to handle the required paperwork to complete the transaction with the bank.