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2013-06-03 13:43:31
DALLAS FT WORTH FORECLSOURES DOWN

So far in 2013, Dallas-Fort Worth area home foreclosure filings have dropped almost 40 percent from the first six months of 2012. And the number of homes threatened for forced sale by lenders next month is 43 percent below levels from a year ago. If foreclosure activity continues to drop at current levels, 2013 could see the lowest number of home foreclosure filings in the four-county area in almost a decade. “It’s still not down to historic norms, but it is moving in that direction,” said James Gaines, economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Foreclosure filings are dropping faster than normal because many lenders have changed how they deal with mortgage defaults, Gaines said. “The banks are not using foreclosure as the main way to cure the problem,” he said. Before foreclosing on a house, many lenders will offer to modify the home loan or offer the property to new owners through a negotiated short sale. During the first quarter, short sales accounted for almost 1 in 10 U.S. home transactions, the National Association of Realtors estimates. Higher home values have also enabled some homeowners with problem loans to sell their properties. Even with these changes, 2,798 D-FW area homes are posted for June’s foreclosure auctions, according to data from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. The biggest decline in next month’s foreclosure listings is in Collin County, where there are 49 percent fewer postings than for June 2012. Dallas County foreclosure filings are down 45 percent from a year ago. Among the single-family homes scheduled for foreclosure sale, the average original mortgage amount was $161,600, according to Foreclosure Listing Service

 
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