Speeding Up Foreclosures

An interesting take on recent foreclosure activity from Diana Olick:

As regulators and law enforcers battle this out, banks are ramping up foreclosures with increasing speed. A new report from ForeclosureRadar, which measures some of the most distressed markets out West, shows a big jump in March foreclosure sales, the final stage of foreclosure. Total foreclosure sales were up 35 percent in California from February. In Arizona, sales back to the bank (REO) were up over 60 percent and in Nevada bank repo’s were up 160 percent.

Granted, March has more days than February, and that juiced the numbers a bit, but the daily averages were also way up.

What this tells me is that the banks want to get these properties through the system and fast; they don’t want to wait for a settlement that will slow the process or force them to forgive principal on these troubled loans, which even with reduced balances will likely end up back in foreclosure anyway.

So while negotiations for a settlement of the foreclosure paperwork snafu drag on, the banks are turbocharging their foreclosure activity. Makes sense, fewer defaulted borrowers on the books mean fewer loans that they can be forced to modify. This probably is a strategy that works best in the non-judicial foreclosure states.

The old banking adage that your first loss is your best loss, is once again proving its value. I suspect that there are quite a few bank executives who rue not having bitten the bullet early on, thus avoiding the mess they now find themselves amid.

About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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