Lenders Step-Up California Foreclosure Filings in August

The thaw in California foreclosure filings came late this summer, but it did finally appear.

Led by Bank of America’s re-start of its program following the robo-signing scandal, foreclosure filings jumped nearly 70% in California last month from July, according to Foreclosure Radar. BofA alone saw its default filings more than double in August to 116%.

Many agents and brokers have been hoping the logjam would be broken to put more houses on the market. However, these homes are just at the beginning of a foreclosure process that averages 333 days to complete in California — 49 more days than a year ago!

A BofA spokesperson put the bank’s best spin on the news in a story from HousingWire:

“Strong gains like that from July to August demonstrate our progress – primarily in non-judicial states like California and Nevada – clearing more volume to advance to foreclosure once we pass the numerous, improved quality controls we have in place and only after all other options with homeowners have been exhausted.”

Bank of America along with many others froze the foreclosure process in the fall of 2010 to sort out mishandled foreclosure documentation in a scandal that became known as robo-signing. The 14 major servicers signed consent orders with federal regulators earlier this year. After a review of 2,800 foreclosure files – roughly 200 per bank – regulators found “insufficient processes” and ordered more in-depth third party look backs.

With the feds looking over lenders’ shoulders, it’s unlikely these homes will be on the market anytime soon to help revive a depressed housing market here in the state.

Is there any way to thaw the rest of the process? Will higher foreclosure volumes be helpful to your business or the industry? RE-Insider would like to know your thoughts.