Foreclosures Drop to 44-Month Low in July

Foreclosure monitoring firm Realtytrac's latest monthly report revealed that foreclosure activity dropped 35% from July of 2010 to last month -- the lowest in 44 months. Realtytrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2011 "showed foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 212,764 U.S. properties in July, a 4 percent decrease from June."

The list of hardest hit states is nearly identical to what it has been for two years. The top 10 were Georgia, Utah, Florida, Michigan, Idaho, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Most of these states have relatively high unemployment rates which exacerbates the problem.

Despite the data, Realtytrac also warned that the decrease in foreclosures is artificial. Once homes which have been held up by robo-signing delays and state court filings are over, the market should be prepared for another flood of foreclosures. Realtytrac CEO James J. Saccacio, said "Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond. A stabilizing economy and improving job market are the long-term keys to a housing market recovery."

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But, could the process that causes foreclosed homes to be dumped on the market only to depress the prices of other homes be tempered? Maybe. President Obama proposed a program yesterday that would encourage the rental of foreclosed homes owned by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Similar programs could spread to banks which offer homes at steep discounts to get residential real estate off of their books. But, financial firms take large write-offs of these and might rather rent some of them, if they could.

Federal attempts to buoy the home market have been a failure so far. The Making Home Affordable Program operation was launched in March 2009. The main component of this plan was the Home Affordable Modification Program. It was set up to lower mortgage payments for those who could not afford them, but wanted to remain in their houses. A Congressional Oversight Panel report issued in December 2010 said the programs has been failures and had fallen far short of goals to modify mortgages for 3 million to 4 million homes .

The failures by the Administration to build a floor under the housing market have been a disappointment but there is always hope. The new Obama plan to rent homes in foreclosure might potentially have a positive effect on home prices.

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For stocks to stay up Republicans will have to regain control. Look at history if you don't believe it.

August 12 2011 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess this is Obama's fault, too.

August 12 2011 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to opus1dog's comment

We only blame Obama for what is his fault.

August 12 2011 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, how does turning our country into a rental housing market buoy anything? It doesn't.....Until America brings back meaningful jobs, stimulates creativity and business ingenuity, places the banking industry under more scrutiny and removes them from government, institutes a fair flat tax.....we are fast heading to be the largest 3rd world country in the world. 15% of our citizens are now on food stamps.....that's not progress.

August 12 2011 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maureen & Steve

Any homes that are rented will be filled by Welfare and Section 8 as per HUD guidelines. If you have an empty foreclosed home in your neighborhood, would you rather have it filled with people that sleep all day ( when you are at work,) and are up all night (when you are trying to sleep so you can work) or would you like it to remain empty until some one buys it. Think about it.

August 12 2011 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have liked to see what that affordable home program was all about, when I retired in 2002 my mortgage payment wasn't a big problem but now the economy and the lack of pension and social security raises we are barely able to keep the house and we would loose a lot of money if we could sell the house.

August 12 2011 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Refinancing replaces your current mortgage with a new loan that has a more favorable interest rate and terms that you can afford to manage. The new loan is secured on the same property as your current loan. I refinanced and saving $451 every month! search online for "123 Refinance" they got me a 3.11% rate

August 12 2011 at 6:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Thank you President Obama. Once again you have rescued us from the brink of disaster. Without your strong leadership, your daily pep talks, your fund raising events where would we be right now. I know you need a break from all that you have done for us in the past few weeks and I hope you enjoy your family vacation on Martha's Vineyard. You deserve it. I knew that, as an Independent, when I voted for you in 2008 based on all the promises you made to get my vote, I would not be disappointed. Oops, wrong fantasy. That was Obama's and it did turn out to be a real fantasy. All except the family vacation to Martha's Vineyard. Anyone else notice that when things are really bad, this President heads off on a "family vacation". No guts, no glory Mr. President and you have neither.

August 12 2011 at 3:34 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It always amazes me that they try to make the headline seem like something good and then indicate in the article that what you are talking about is "artificial". Sounds like the garbage we get when they manipulate and then report the unemployment rate. Instead of trying to sugar coat the poor job done by the Obama administration why don't they just say foreclosures are still a problem or unemployment is still too high. But NO, they have to take a topic and make it appear as though there is a light at the end of the tunnel when the candle is just about to burn out. Ridiculous!!!

August 11 2011 at 9:32 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dprato's comment

They do this because they are too liberal to tell the truth.

August 11 2011 at 10:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savemycountry911's comment

Why would we liberals want to tell the truth dear.

August 11 2011 at 10:35 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

The real problem is the greedy bankers, realtors and lawyers kept forcing the prices ever higher for bigger commissions. As long as some poor sucker could get financed no one cared. The prices are just starting to come back to reality in many markets and some people are going to get hurt, it is that simple especially those who bought way beyond their means. The realistic prices for some of these properties is a shock to many.

August 11 2011 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dodie1990's comment

How could a baker, realtor, or lawyer have forced the price of a house higher?

August 12 2011 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Faniie and freddie should've negotiated for principle reduction on all these houses and even for those who stood in good standing with their sevicer. If they had even mentioned this route of keeping people in their houses home prices probably wouldn't have dropped as mauch as they have. It would've brought stability to the market and not let it plummet like it has for the past 3 years. But freedie and fannie along with their servicing banks were blinded by their greed and chasing the worthless dollar they hold so dear to their hearts. That now they have no where else to turn except to an inept chief executive who has intoduced 3 or 4 programs that couldn't be enforced why? Because that same chief executive is beholden to those same bankers. And all the while people are out in the streets homeless and the property vacant and deteriorating everday. Boy these guys are to smucken fart at all just greedy and heartless because of their greed. What sham this whole economy is.

August 11 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply