Foreclosure starts soared during the month of August in states along the country’s western coast, reversing what had been a declining trend over the past several months, according to the tracking firm ForeclosureRadar.
The California-based company keeps close tabs on foreclosure activity in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. ForeclosureRadar recorded a spike in the first notice filed in the foreclosure process across its five-state coverage area last month.
ForeclosureRadar says the jump appears to have been primarily driven by Bank of America and its related entities, which initiated 116 percent more foreclosures in August than in July. Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank also saw increases in foreclosure start filings, while filings by JPMorgan Chase and Citibank were essentially flat.
“Bank of America appears to be primarily responsible for the surge in foreclosure starts this month,” said Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar.
“Since their average time to foreclose has recently increased to more than a year, it is unclear that these foreclosure starts will lead to an increase in foreclosure sales anytime soon,” O’Toole noted.
California’s notice of default filings increased 69.5 percent to their highest level in 12 months. Notices of trustee sale were up more moderately, rising 6.0 percent month-over-month.
Activity on California courthouse steps increased in August. Properties returned to the bank as REO increased 12.3 percent from the prior month, while properties sold to third parties rose 9.9 percent. Time-to-foreclose in the Golden State increased to 333 days in August, which is 49 days longer than a year ago.