Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time needed to sell all Maryland's foreclosures: 21 years

At the rate homes are going on the foreclosure block in Maryland these days, it would take 21 years -- yes, years -- before the current "pipeline" of homes in danger of foreclosure are all sold.

That's according to industry consultant LPS Applied Analytics, which shows a dramatic drop in the number of Maryland foreclosure sales (repossessions or other involuntary transfers) after the robo-signing revelations last fall. That's pushed the state's time-to-sell figure skyward to the fourth-highest nationwide.

This seems poised to change, with warnings of impending Maryland foreclosure cases spiking in November. But here's how things stood as of September:

LPS Applied Analytics says the owners of about 105,000 Maryland homes were at least 90 days behind on their payments, including those with foreclosure cases filed against them. That number hadn't grown much over the year. But foreclosure sales dropped 80 percent -- from an average of about 2,000 a month statewide to about 400.

Why? Foreclosures went from flood to trickle after news that mortgage-servicer employees were signing foreclosure documents for courts assembly-line-style, without having any idea if the information was accurate -- and that some foreclosure attorneys were outsourcing the signing of their names to other people, among other alleged problems. States where foreclosure is a court case, not a non-judicial affair, have seen their collective time-to-sell pipeline double since then. more