Foreclosures at a low means what for the economy?

Home foreclosures nationwide are now at their lowest level in 40 months. Still, analysts are warning that's not necessarily a positive sign for the economy. Andrew Schneider has this report.

foreclosureApril marks the seventh-straight monthly drop in foreclosure filings according to online tracking firm RealtyTrac.  Company spokesman Daren Blomquist says that has more to do with lenders taking more time to process foreclosures than with any recovery in housing.

“In recent months they’ve been accused of some sloppy paperwork in foreclosing. They’re starting to be more rigorous about that. And then secondly, in some cases it may be better for them to hold off on foreclosing in order to prevent the market from being flooded with foreclosures.”

Blomquist says such delays are extending even to Texas, where the turnaround time from initial default to final foreclosure is traditionally much quicker than the national average.

“If you go back to 2007, in Texas, the foreclosure process on average took only 57 days. It’s up to 97 days in 2011.”

Roughly one in every 800 housing units in Greater Houston received a foreclosure filing last month. That compares to about one in every 600 nationwide.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...