2014 Q1 and Q2 Portland Metro Foreclosures – Dramatic Increases

foreclosureLest folks believe we’re experiencing a gradual decline in the number of foreclosures Portlanders are experiencing, the answer is a resounding “No!”  According to a May 15, 2014 Portland Business Journal article, foreclosure activity has “skyrocketed.”  However, reviewing other online reports, some folks believe that the foreclosure numbers are improving.  They can’t all be right – and they aren’t. I have developed some graphics showing the actual statistics as provided by First American Title Company.  Attached are the following: Chart for 4Q_2013; Chart for 1Q_2014; and Chart for 2Q_2014. The evidence is unmistakable: Foreclosure activity for the first half of 2014 is continuing to rise dramatically. Here are the numbers:

4Q 2013

Clackamas County: Lis Pendens[1] filings: 68     Notice of Default[2] filings: 41 = 109 Total Multnomah County:  Lis Pendens filings:   84     Notice of Default filings: 44 = 128 Total Washington County:  Lis Pendens filings: 54       Notice of Default filings: 22 = 76 Total

1Q 2014

Clackamas County:   Lis Pendens filings: 92       Notice of Default filings: 18 = 110 Total Multnomah County: Lis Pendens filings: 136      Notice of Default filings: 33 = 169 Total Washington County: Lis Pendens filings: 92        Notice of Default filings: 38 = 130 Total

2Q 2014

Clackamas County: Lis Pendens filings: 97        Notice of Default filings: 55 = 152 Total Multnomah County: Lis Pendens filings: 175    Notice of Default filings: 55 = 230 Total Washington County: Lis Pendens filings: 110   Notice of Default filings:  36 = 146 Total

Commentary.   Thus, while there was a total of 313 foreclosures in the Portland Metro area during the fourth quarter of 2013, those numbers increased in the first quarter of 2014 to 409, and 528 in the second quarter – a pretty steep uptick in numbers.

The charts also point out another important statistic – foreclosures are going into the meat-grinder faster than they are coming out.  The “Notice of Sale” events indicate that the trustees on the non-judicial sales have completed them.  Those numbers are relatively small, primarily because there are still comparatively fewer non-judicial foreclosures being commenced, than judicial foreclosure filings.

But the good thing about a non-judicial sale is that there is no statutory 180-day right of redemption following the sale.  Immediately after the trustee’s sale, the property can be repossessed by the lender, cleaned up, and placed back on the market for sale. However, this is not the case with judicial foreclosures.

The First American statistics only show the date of final judgment. But that does not tell the complete story about the length of time it takes to complete a judicial foreclosure. After the judgment is filed, the sheriff must schedule the property for a public sale. The time between the final judgment and sheriff’s sale could be several more months, depending on how fast the foreclosure attorneys can move, and the sheriff’s scheduling availability. And once the sale occurs, unless waived by the foreclosed borrower, the right of redemption will keep the property off the market for another six months.

The effect, at least for judicial foreclosures, is comparable to a pig moving through a python – verrrrry, verrrrry, slowwwwly.

[1] A “Lis Pendens” [lawyer-speak for “litigation pending”] is a document recorded against a specific property, showing that a foreclosure is, or was, being commenced in court.

[2] A “Notice of Default” is a document recorded against a specific property, showing that a non-judicial foreclosure is being commenced against it.