EUGENE, Ore.—If January is any indication of how many foreclosures will be filed in the next 11 months, there are still a whole lot more houses to enter the foreclosure pipeline.
Last month, there were 729 foreclosures filed in the 24 Oregon counties monitored by Gorilla Capital; that is an increase of 95% compared to January 2014 when 373 foreclosures were filed.
There were 300 non-judicial foreclosure filings recorded in January compared to 429 judicial or court filings.
“Since the state of Oregon changed the rules for foreclosure filings in August 2013, it’s taken an entire calendar year for lenders and borrowers to adjust to the new process, which means last month was the first month we could compare current monthly filings to the same month during the previous year,” said John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital. “Are there fewer foreclosures than a few years ago? Yes, but only an improving economy, favorable interest rates, and a swifter foreclosure process will take distressed lenders and borrowers from being on the mend to actually being healthy.”
Helmick expects there will be a steady flow of foreclosure filings of at least 650 filings a month in the first half of this year. The average number of filings in the first half of 2014 was 533 filings a month.
“The process has created a log-jam,” Helmick said. “With the first houses through the new process, houses that have been vacant for months and years will finally be sold and neighborhoods will become whole again as new owners breathe life into Zombie, or vacant houses.
Gorilla reports that 50% of the houses it purchased in Oregon last month were Zombie homes compared to 70% in its national portfolio.