The number of foreclosures are only down, due to the legal delays with the mortgage service industry.
On the surface, the foreclosure crisis seems to be easing. The number of foreclosure notices filed during the first three months of 2011 fell 27% compared with the first quarter of 2010, according to a report from RealtyTrac released Thursday.
Only 681,000 properties got hit with some type of filing -- a notice of default, a scheduled auction or a foreclosure sale -- during the quarter, one for every 191 households
The explanation for this contradiction is that the foreclosure improvement has been artificial, fueled by banks reacting to paperwork processing issues -- the infamous "robo-signing" scandal -- by cutting back on filings until they can clean up their procedures.
Read it allAccording to RealtyTrac spokesman Rick Sharga, without the cutback there would have been 900,000 filings during the quarter instead of 681,000. There would have been 280,000 to 300,000 bank repossessions instead of 215,000, he added.