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Foreclosures: Leaving Homes And A Financial Mess Behind

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2008 | 3:33 PM ET
A home is advertised for sale at a foreclosure auction in Pasadena, California.
Reed Saxon
A home is advertised for sale at a foreclosure auction in Pasadena, California.

An interesting tidbit from this month's RealtyTrac foreclosure report. The online service provides data on default notices, auction notices and bank reposessions, as well as lists foreclosed properties for a fee.

RealtyTrac found total filings in March up again from April but noted that auction notices are not keeping pace with bank reposessions.

From RealtyTrac:

“On a year-over-year basis, default notices were up nearly 57 percent and bank repossessions were up nearly 129 percent, but auction notices were up only 32 percent, indicating that more defaulting homeowners are simply walking away and deeding their properties back to the foreclosing lender. This deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure process allows the lender to take possession of a property without putting it up for public foreclosure auction.”

Yep, with no equity in their homes and no particular desire to meet their financial commitments, folks are just leaving the keys in the mailbox.

I stood in front of a foreclosed home on a sunny corner in West Palm Beach, Florida today.

The abandoned house was empty and worn, its overgrown lawn covered in trash, a sorry sight in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood. I don't know the particular story of that particular house, but I do know that plenty of folks are leaving homes like it behind, and leaving a financial mess along with it.

Realty Check: Foreclosures
RealtyTrac releases its latest foreclosure data, with CNBC's Diana Olick

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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