EUGENE, Ore.— Historically, during the holiday season fewer foreclosures are filed in December than in any other month during the year, but in 2014, Santa Claus delivered the equivalent of “foreclosure coal” to the housing market in the 24 Oregon counties monitored by Gorilla Capital.

There were a total of 753 judicial and non-judicial foreclosures (NODs) filed during the month, the second highest total in 2014.  After a dip in November, judicial foreclosures climbed from 314 to 411. Non-judicial foreclosures also increased from 206 in November to 342 in December. For the year there were 7,075 foreclosures filed in Gorilla counties compared to 13,446 in 2013.

“December’s filings reflect what we have believed for many months: that monthly foreclosure filings will continue to hover most months near the 600 plus mark, and may be even increase during the first quarter of 2015,” said John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital. “Oregon’s foreclosure process keeps many foreclosed homes at the front-end of the filing process for months, and sometimes years, inadvertently creating vacant or Zombie homes that drag down values in thriving neighborhoods.”

“A more efficient foreclosure filing process would allow homes in the system to be absorbed back into the market more quickly, instead of lingering in foreclosure for months on end, thus delaying the Oregon housing market’s full recovery,” Helmick added.

Gorilla reported that 100% of the houses it bought in Oregon during December were Zombie homes. For the year, Zombies made up 73% of the houses Gorilla bought in Oregon.

“Gorilla likes to buy Zombie houses,” Helmick said. “After we remodel them inside and out, they go from lifeless neighborhood eye-sores, to lively, family homes.”

2014 Total Foreclosures

Judical v Non-Judicial Foreclosure Graph