Bloomberg is reporting Foreclosures Climb 65% as Loan Workouts Fall Short.

U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 65 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in April from a year earlier as mortgage industry efforts to modify loans fell short.

More than 243,300 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of default data, began in January 2005. One in every 519 households received a filing and Nevada, California and Florida had the highest rates. Filings rose 4 percent from March.

“Loan modification isn’t working,” Rheingold said. “It’s extremely difficult for a homeowner to talk to a servicer and even if they do, it’s hard to get the servicer to change the terms. You get voice-mail hell, they don’t return calls, you can’t get a live person on the phone.”

Bank repossessions jumped 145 percent in April from a year earlier to 54,574, according to Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac. The company has database of more than 1.5 million properties and monitors foreclosure filings including defaults notices, auction sale notices and bank seizures.

Banks will seize about 60,000 properties a month through December, when about 1 million U.S. homes, or a quarter of all homes for sale, may be bank-owned, Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s executive vice president of marketing, said in an interview.

1,000 Foreclosure Auctions Per Day

In California there are 1,000 auctions per day.

California’s foreclosure crisis passed another ominous milestone in April, when more than 1,000 foreclosed homes were auctioned off every weekday at courthouses across the state, the auction tracking firm ForeclosureRadar reported today.

The April total of foreclosure sales at auction — 22,838 for the state — represents a jump of 44% over March totals and the highest level ever in California, ForeclosureRadar reports.

It appears the pipeline of potential foreclosures is jampacked, too: the ForeclosureRadar reported 44,101 new “Notices of Default” filings in April, a new record for California. Notices of Default are the first step in the foreclosure process.

“We expected a significant increase in auction sales based on previous default patterns,” said Sean O’Toole, founder of ForeclosureRadar. “Unfortunately, the continued increases in defaults tell us that the worst is still ahead.”

California foreclosures surge

Peter Viles is reporting California foreclosure “surge”: Up 327% from ’07 levels.

The number of California homes lost to foreclosure in the first quarter surged 327% from year-ago levels — reaching an average of more than 500 foreclosures per day — DataQuick said in a report, warning that the widening foreclosure problem could “spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans.”

From DataQuick’s report on California foreclosures in the first three months of 2008: “Trustees Deeds recorded, or the actual loss of a home to foreclosure, totaled 47,171 during the first quarter. … Last quarter’s total rose 48.9 percent from 31,676 in the previous quarter, and jumped 327.6 percent from 11,032 in first quarter 2007.” That translates into 517 foreclosures every day in the first quarter of 2008.

More: “Homeowners received 113,676 default notices in the first quarter, up 143 percent from a year ago, La Jolla, California- based DataQuick said today in a statement. The level was the highest since at least 1992, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.”

Despite well publicized federal efforts to reach out to homeowners in default, the odds that they will ultimately lose their homes appear to be increasing. DataQuick reports that, of the homeowners in default, “an estimated 32 percent emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing, or selling the home and paying off what they owe. A year ago it was about 52 percent.

Bottom Callers Beware

Banks are so capital impaired they are not able to take writedowns until they raise still more capital. More asset sales are coming. In the meantime, because so many problem mortgages are securitized in pools, banks cannot act even if they wanted to.

As the recession deepens, a downward spiral of foreclosures, REOs, and capital raising efforts is going to accelerate. We are nowhere near a bottom. Many banks and lending institutions are going to fail.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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