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William A. Roper, Jr.
ReatyTrac published its January 2011 foreclosure metrics a little while ago:

"Foreclosure Activity Increases 1 Percent in January" (February 10, 2011)
http://www.realtytrac.com/content/press-releases/foreclosure-activity-increases-1-percent-in-january-6387

The effects of the Ibanez ruling on Massachusetts foreclosure filings is readily apparent.  Similarly, the discovery of massive irregularities in document execution and affirmations in Maryland have resulted in a collapse in filings in that state.

The effects of the new attorney affirmation requirements in New York State are also readily apparent.  Only just beginning to show up in the statistics are the effects of the new attorney affirmation requirement recently imposed in New Jersey.

The attorney affirmation requirement imposed by order of the County Court of Common Pleas in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Franklin (Columbus) counties in Ohio is also beginning to show up in the data.

It should probably be noted that the most aggressive efforts to address the epic forgery, perjury, document fabrication and fraud on the courts are NOT in states which have the highest foreclosure volumes, so while the effects in those states is dramatic, the influence on the national statistics is still modest. 

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William A. Roper, Jr.
The RealtyTrac aggregate numbers for foreclosure filings for a state tends to obscure the underlying dynamics of what is happening.

The aggregate figure for January 2011 -- 2,885 -- includes these discrete elements:

January 2011 NY Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens:  2,339
Notice of Trustee Sale: 1*
Notice of Foreclosure Sale:  302
REO (sale to bank):  243
Total NY Filings: 2,885

* Probably a data coding/reporting error.

The report explains that the January 2011 aggreagte figure for NY filings were UP 10.03% from December and DOWN 36.86% from January 2010.

Here are the discrete figures for the components of the Janaury 2010 aggregates:

January 2010 NY Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens:  3,440
Notice of Trustee Sale: 0
Notice of Foreclosure Sale:  611
REO (sale to bank):  518 
Total NY Filings: 4,569

Here are the figures for year over year change froom January 2010 to January 2011:

Jan 2011 Year Over Year Change from Jan 2010 NY Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens:  -32.0%
Notice of Trustee Sale: NM
Notice of Foreclosure Sale:  -50.6%
REO (sale to bank):  -53.1 
Total NY Filings: -36.8%

*

Even these figures probably understate the decline in meaningful foreclosure sales scheduled and conducted.  Such sales are often interrupted by a U.S. Bankruptcy filing.  Most of the few remaining foreclosure sales are likely to have been a consequence of foreclosure orders granted prior to the new affirmation requirement and possibly interrupted by Bankruptcy.  After obtaining relief from stay OR after the bankruptcy is dismissed, such sales can continue without state court intervention.

But the NY Court of Appeals affirmation requirement requires an affirmation after auction when the referee seeks a judicial order confirming sale.  And attorneys mostly wont sign these affirmations either.  So the REAL number for NY REO is probably closer to ZERO!  
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Angelo
Bill

Can you expand on your last paragraph, 

"But the NY Court of Appeals affirmation requirement requires an affirmation after auction when the referee seeks a judicial order confirming sale.  And attorneys mostly wont sign these affirmations either.  So the REAL number for NY REO is probably closer to ZERO!"  

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William A. Roper, Jr.
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Angelo said:
Can you expand on your last paragraph, . . .


Angelo:

I am going to have to CORRECT MYSELF HERE.  I was somewhat shooting from the hip as to how the new affirmation rule applied where an order of reference had already been granted.

See, generally, the information from my prior post and the references cited therein:

"New York's New Attorney Affirmation Requirement Relating To Foreclosures" (12/13/10 at 02:50 AM)
http://ssgoldstar.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=500922

The NY Court of Appeals guidance states:
"In cases where the previous version of the attorney affirmation has not yet been filed, plaintiff's counsel in residential foreclosure actions involving one-to-four family homes and condominiums are now required to file the revised affirmation as follows:

    * For new cases, the affirmation must accompany the Request for Judicial Intervention
    * In pending cases, the affirmation must be submitted with either the proposed order of reference or the proposed judgment of foreclosure
    * In cases where a foreclosure judgment has been entered but the property has not yet been sold at auction, the affirmation must be submitted to the referee, and a copy filed with the court, no later than five business days before the scheduled auction.

Counsel remain under a continuing obligation to file an amended version of the affirmation if new facts emerge after the initial filing."
*

My memory failed me and my recollection had been that the affirmation in the latter instance was to be filed with the court as the plaintiff sought a judicial order confirming the sale.

Precisely WHAT happens if the plaintiff fails to file the required affirmation with the referee OR fails to file the required affirmation with the court is UNCLEAR.  What probably SHOULD happen is the Court should REFUSE to confirm the sale.  A question may arise where an order of confirmation of sale is entered and the appeal period runs.  The question is whether the order is a valid final order, which is appealable and voidable, or a void order.  My suspicion is that it will turn out to be the former.  I have NOT researched this subject and given the newness of the affirmation requirement there is probably no case law directly on point.

Someone whose property has been sold at auction WITHOUT the required affirmation being filed should probably obtain counsel and file an objection to the sale (or an appeal of the order) right away if they want to dispute the sale and preserve this error!

So IF the affirmation is properly filed, then it OUGHT to have been filed IN ADVANCE OF THE AUCTION.  I would bet money that well fewer than all of these auctions were conducted after proper filing.
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William A. Roper, Jr.
The Washington Post is reporting on the drop in foreclosures in tomorrow's print edition (posted online Thursday):

 

Washington Post: "Foreclosure filings drop as officials raise questions over process" by Ariana Eunjung CHA (Thursday, February 10, 2011; 7:55 PM)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/10/AR2011021006634.html

 

Drop by the Washington Post site and add YOUR comments!

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William A. Roper, Jr.
RealtyTrac January 2011 Figures for Maryland

As with the New York figures shown above, the ReatyTrac aggregate figures also obscure what is happening in Maryland:

January 2011 MD Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens: 279
Notice of Foreclosure Sale: 273
REO (sale to bank): 906
Total MD Filings: 1,558

The REAL NUMBERS for REO are probably NEGATIVE in January since foreclosures are now being UNDONE in MD.

January 2010 MD Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens: 1,687
Notice of Foreclosure Sale: 2,744
REO (sale to bank): 798
Total MD Filings: 5,229

Jan 2011 Year Over Year Change from Jan 2010 MD Foreclosure Filings
Lis Pendens: -83.5%
Notice of Foreclosure Sale: -90.1%
REO (sale to bank): +13.5%
Total NY Filings: -70.2%

In MD, after trustee's sale, the foreclosing entity must still seek a judicial order confirming the sale.  The REO figures probably are based upon foreclosure sales rather than judicial orders confirming these sales, but this is my speculation.

*

It should be noted that a significant feature underlying the collapse of foreclosures in Maryland is the ongoing disciplinary actions against Maryland notaries and Maryland foreclosure mill attorneys.
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