Friday, February 1, 2008

Overstating Foreclosure Woes

I wish foreclosure watcher from Irvine, RealtyTrac, stopped publishing its misleading “foreclosure filings” number that’s a mishmash of default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. It already has a better mousetrap, its count of the number of unique homes that were hit with some sort of mortgage delinquency. This multiple-count matter is no minor quibble.

In 2007, RealtyTrac found 2,203,295 “foreclosure filings” but that legal bureaucracy happened on just 1,285,873 residences. That’s a 71% variance!

Look, I’m not saying there’s no foreclosure problem, I’m just saying that a nation with 1.2 million families in financial trouble is ugly enough. That’s 1.03% of all U.S. households. Who cares how many legal pieces of paper they’ve received! For Virginia, the overstatement equals 24,199 foreclosure filings on 16,307 properties — a 48% variance!

To spin the good news, Virginia ranked 24th on the foreclosure rate ranking. However, Virginia foreclosure filings were up 17.3 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter with a 53.4 percent spike in December. To read the release, CLICK HERE

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