January ended with a 28% decline in foreclosure filings since January 2012, and the number of notice of defaults, auctions, and repossessed homes continues to fall. The housing market shows signs of recovery, and overall, the number of foreclosures is back down to levels similar to 2007.
It's my opinion that the lower foreclosure filings can be attributed to a number of factors, including the "Homeowner Bill of Rights", the recent legislation which requires banks to stop foreclosure proceedings if a borrower files for a loan modification.
Don't doubt that we will still see lots of short sales this year, which accounted for about 28% of total home sales last year, but that seems like good news as well, because it means that homeowners are finding a resolution to their mortgage debt problems and coming to an agreement with their mortgage lenders.
Overall, it still remains a great time to buy a home, with interest rates maintaining record low levels and housing prices low, but showing signs of improvement.
Foreclosure data is courtesy of RealtyTrac, Inc.
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