If you only read the headline (“North Texas Foreclosures Drop”) on a recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, you might think the situation was improving. The paper reported that residential foreclosure postings in the four primary Metroplex counties were the lowest in three years for the coming May auction, and were down 23 percent over the 2010 number.
Obviously, there’s more to the story, and later in the article there’s a hint as to the reason for this big plunge: “the drop likely results from lenders backing down from filing notices because federal regulators said there were problems with the foreclosure process.”
Of course, just because lenders are easing off the foreclosure accelerator pedal doesn’t mean the problem is going away. Not at all. The latest national report indicated there are an estimated two million U.S. homes where the owners are currently behind on their payments or facing foreclosure. That is a huge backlog of delinquencies that could lead to yet another tsunami of foreclosures in the coming months.
We’re out there every day talking to DFW-area homeowners, lenders, and agents about short sales, and I can tell you that I certainly don’t see any decrease in the number of homeowners getting into trouble. So even though there may be a lull – whether it is because lenders are watching their steps more carefully or for some other reason – that lull, unfortunately, is at best temporary.