Foreclosures Gearing Up for a Comeback

Rather than hit everywhere at once, however, surges in activity will hit different states and markets at different times, as state courts push filings through.

After sitting on ice for most of the past year as banks worked through paperwork issues, foreclosure filings are slowly starting to simmer again. But rather than boil over across the country, the saw-toothed reemergence of filings is appearing in fits and starts that depend on when a given state—or a given lender—decides to push a batch of filings through.

In September, filings declined by 6% on a monthly basis, according to RealtyTrac data, after gaining in August on a surge of default notices that warned of pain to come. But despite filing declines in both July and September, foreclosure filings managed to inch up in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, although only by a marginal gain of less than 1%.