Banks are seizing more homes through the foreclosure process as they try to manage the flow of distressed properties without causing too much disruption in the recovery of the housing market.
Seizures increased 5.4% in November, the first annual increase in two years. Banks slowed down on foreclosures in October of 2010 because of accusations they were using faulty practices to take property away from homeowners who were behind on payments.
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The five largest lenders agreed to a settlement of the charges of $25 billion and have looked to alternative methods such as short sales to better manage the resolution of distressed properties resulting from the 2008 financial crisis.
Bank-owned homes initially provided a drag on the housing market with a glut of foreclosures.
Then states began enacting laws that made it more difficult to file initial default notices and to make the flow of foreclosures
Home seizures rose in 29 states in November and repossessions declined in 21 states. Florida had the highest rate of foreclosures, up 3% from the previous month and up 20% from one year ago.