Many banks suspended their foreclosure activities in December for the holidays (can’t have Tiny Tim in the street at Christmas….let’s wait until January!). So it wasn’t unexpected to see the December foreclosure rate decline.
However, according to ForeclosureRadar.com:
Foreclosure activity dropped dramatically in December, especially when looked at on a daily average basis. For example while Notices of Default dropped 17.5 percent in aggregate, they actually dropped 32.5 percent on a daily average basis due to the fact that December had 22 days on which documents were recorded, versus 18 in November.
“The dramatic drop in foreclosure activity may have been a Christmas gift to homeowners,” says Sean O’Toole, Founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar.com, “however, given rising mortgage delinquencies it is becoming increasingly clear that foreclosure activity no longer fully represents market realities”.
Unlike November where we saw nearly flat foreclosure filings on a daily average basis, with declines being due to the holiday shortened month, the decline in December foreclosure filings is actually understated due to the increased number of recording days. On a daily average basis, Notice of Default filings dropped a dramatic 32.5 percent from November and Notice of Trustee Sale filings dropped 23.0 percent. We have not seen a similar December drop in recent years, so this is not simply a regular seasonal decline.
Another tiny pinpoint of light in the foreclosure debacle? We won’t know until we get more number from the first few months of 2010.
But maybe…just maybe…we won’t get Scrooged quite as hard this year as last.