A record 2.9 million U.S. properties received a foreclosure notice in 2010, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac.
The actual number of filings, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, totaled 3,825,637 (some properties receive more than one notice).
Bank repos, where mortgage lenders take back properties and borrowers actually lose their homes, topped the one-million mark.
The report also revealed that 2.23 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 45) received at least one foreclosure notice during the year.
While it was a record, the total represented only a two percent increase from 2009, but a 23 percent increase from 2008.
And it could have been a lot worse…
“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a release.
“Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million — will likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011.”
Foreclosure filings were reported on 799,064 U.S. properties during the fourth quarter, down 14 percent from the previous quarter and eight percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.
The robosigning debacle led to the lowest quarterly foreclosure total since the fourth quarter of 2008, and December was a 30-month low in terms of foreclosure filings.
So look for a spike sometime soon.