Judicial foreclosure filings increase in February

By Elliot Njus, The Oregonian
on March 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Court-supervised foreclosure starts surged again in February, according to a reseller of foreclosed homes.

Oregon’s seven largest counties collectively reported legal action on 996 properties, according to Gorilla Capital, a Eugene company buys, redevelops and sells foreclosed homes. Those numbers mostly represent foreclosure cases.

That’s 65 percent more cases than seen a month earlier. And it rivals the 1,036 out-of-court foreclosure starts recorded in those counties a year earlier, before legal complications sent most foreclosures into the court system.

The counties reported just a handful of out-of-court foreclosures each in February.

The numbers indicate lenders are increasingly warming to the judicial foreclosure system, which was largely put aside in favor of the cheaper, speedier method of foreclosing through filings in county records.

Foreclosing through the court system sidesteps an Oregon Court of Appeals decision that complicated foreclosures for most lenders. It also bypasses a state-mandated foreclosure mediation program passed in the legislature last year.

The appellate court decision is on appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, which heard arguments in January.

Meanwhile, the banking industry has asked the Oregon Legislature to validate its processes in state law, while consumer advocates have asked that the mediation program be expanded to include foreclosures pursued in court.

Elliot Njus

Click here to read the article on Elliot’s blog on The Oregonian online.