I received this question from a reader last week:
We live in a rental house which has been in various phases of the foreclosure process for over 5 years (landlord died in 2007 after taking max cash-out refi’s on all 10 of his properties). Trustee sale dates for the house we are in have been set, moved, and canceled several times over the last 4 years. But the notice parade started up again last month and the Notice of Default was posted today. That means a Notice of Trustee Sale (NTS) as soon as 30 days from today.
Is it just a coincidence that the election is now less than 30 days away? I suspect not since the number of REO properties coming on the market has been declining for several months. I’ve heard it postulated that the banks have been holding off on such notices so they could sell ASAP after the election if Obama wins (presumably no advantages to waiting longer) and have the option to delay the sale again if Romney wins (so they can see if his policies will result in an environment more friendly to banks and the foreclosure process).
I’d be interested to know if there is anecdotal evidence from your readers or data suggesting an up-tic in NTS or NoD this week.
I’m not particularly interested in getting into the political questions here, but I can certainly look at the local foreclosure notice data to see if there has been a noticeable uptick in foreclosure activity in the last week or two.
To answer this question, I pulled Notice of Trustee Sale counts by week over the last six months (Notices of Default are not recorded in King County). Here is the result:
The week-by-week trend doesn’t seem to be any different from the monthly trend of steady increases that we’ve seen since late last year. There was a slight uptick in notices the week of October 7 through October 13 (I received the email above on the 10th), but many other recent weeks have had more notices.
So has there been a sudden surge in foreclosures? It does’t look like it.