Mortgage default notices shot up 33% in August from July, a dramatic turnaround from the downtrend reported just last month and the sharpest monthly increase since the start of the housing crisis in August 2007.
In its monthly foreclosure market report released Thursday, RealtyTrac said banks sent default notices to 78,880 homeowners nationwide, up from 59,516 in July; the surge was especially pronounced in California, where default notices increased 55%, as well as in Indiana and New Jersey, which saw 46% and 42% increases respectively.
The default notice is the first key foreclosure filing, preceding auctions and bank repossessions. The big increase in these filings therefore “foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process,” stated RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in its release.
Offering a more sanguine view of the gloomy report was Gregory Tsujimoto, who performs market research for John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif., and views the data as reflecting more of a stall in an improving market than a new downtrend. Despite the sharp increase in monthly figures, Tsujimoto attaches more weight to an 18% decline in default notices on an annual basis, also found in Thursday’s RealtyTrac report.