US Foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repos) were 321,480 U.S. properties during May 2009. Total foreclosures from April 2009, however, decreased 6%.

One in every 398 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in May, the third highest month on record.

RealtyTrac said they expect REO activity to “spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws come to an end.”


RealtyTrac, June 11, 2009

See also:
U.S. Foreclosure Filings Top 300,000 as Bank Seizures Loom
Dan Levy
Bloomberg, June 11 2009

Category: Credit, Legal, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

187 Responses to “Foreclosures Up 18%”

  1. pmorrisonfl says:

    @hope “No one really wants to live a life of sacrifice once they get used to hyper-prosperity”
    Nail, hammer, head.

    The (we) baby boomers lucked out on the fruits (standing factories, Bretton Woods, atom power, Bell Labs, and the list goes on for miles) of our fathers, and came to think of it as perpetual birthright. It’d be hard to do otherwise under the circumstances.

    It seems to me that great success has always contained the seeds of its own doom.

  2. hopeImwrong says:

    Mannwich – I wouldn’t say the game hasn’t stopped one bit. I think there is a retrenchment in progress. I’m not sure how far it will go, but there is a level of consumer behavior change taking place, and cultural attitudes are evolving too. There are opposing forces at work in this area. Unfortunately, the government and MSM is fighting the natural cycle, trying to keep the game going instead of letting a purging cleanse take place. It is not clear if they will hold off the tide change this time. If things deteriorate as some expect, attitudes will change.

  3. Mannwich says:

    @Steve Barry: And we won’t start deleveraging if Banana Ben is “successful” at his reflation attempts. Just keep tacking on more. It amounts to a de facto default, although we’ll never hear them admit it. Soon people will realize there are no consequences if you don’t pay back your debts. A debt holiday forthcoming for all?

  4. Mannwich says:

    @hope: See Steve Barry’s stats above and tell me the game hasn’t stopped. It’s gaining momentum.

  5. hopeImwrong says:

    Pmorrisonfl -”It seems to me that great success has always contained the seeds of its own doom.”

    Nail, hammer, head – back to you.

  6. I-Man says:

    Hell yeah homies… no pump today!!!

  7. Mannwich says:

    So much for the “rally”. Like I said earlier today, small indicators abound that we’re nearing a top. Probably will go sideways for most of the summer and crash in Sept when the summer haze is over and reality seeps back in to a less optimistic public who sees minimal to no real improvement in their lives (many will see just the opposite by then).

  8. hopeImwrong says:

    @mannwich – The government is increasing debt while the private sector is reducing it. So, there are two divergent responses happening.

  9. Mannwich says:

    @hope: Agreed but how long before an increasinbly desperate public jacks up what is remaining on their credit and calls it a day? Don’t think it’s not already happening, especially for those who are using credit just to “pay the bills” and survive day to day.

  10. Mannwich says:

    That’s “increasingly”. Terrible typing….need preview feature!

  11. karen says:

    OT: More Palin craziness! Anyone following this? You want to be embarrassed about being an American? Here’s more for ya:

  12. Mannwich says:

    @karen: I’m already there. A long time ago.

  13. Steve Barry says:

    To put the 375% in context…the previous all-time high was about 270% in the GD. I believe that about 150% is a normal level…we have, in the US alone, 30 Trillion in excess debt the economy can’t service properly.

    Have a nice day!

  14. hopeImwrong says:

    @mannwich – Yes. Even in the private sector there are a myriad of behaviors. But, the “credit” being carried by the private sector (total) is shrinking. Defaulting on debt, or paying off debt, both cause the overall debt to shrink. This work is being done by the private sector while the government sector is increasing debt at a more rapid rate.

  15. call me ahab says:

    sometimes I feel like the brother working at the Burger Shack in Harold and Kumar-

  16. I-Man says:

    Damn… I got a LTV on the last Q’s trade of 3,176,800 … on a down tick. Can that be right?

    Who is swinging that kind of meat around?! That’s huge! Even for a block trade… someone wanted to bail big time.

  17. Thor says:

    Hope – couldn’t agree more. I’ve always felt a little bit sorry for people who’s focus is money and status. I’ve watched people work their way up the corporate ladder making more and more money along the way, buying bigger houses, nicer cars. Take that forward 10 or 20 years and you’ve got a family, kids in private schools. Now it’s not only a matter of keeping up with the Jone’s, it’s a matter of keeping your family living the life their accustomed to.

    Curmudgeon – I agree with you about the fall of the Berlin Wall. We were not only more focused (for better or worse) collectively as a society, but we were competing with a very different ideology. We let winning the cold war go to our heads and decided that it was time to be world police. Maybe that was as much about the military industrial complex being too far entrenched in government. Ahab said it correctly, we were never meant to have an Empire. If you want to gods honest truth, I think we should close all the bases and bring all the soldiers home. Tell the rest of the world “hey buddy, we’re done, you guys want to kill each other, knock yourselves out, just stay away from North America or we’ll bomb you into the stone age”

    Christopher – looks like you’ve seen “Why We Fight” as well ;-)

  18. willid3 says:

    and some thing else to ponder. work for free! the new jobs!

  19. Whammer says:

    A little income tax info:

    From 82-86, the top marginal income tax rate was 50%, it was 70% immediately prior to Reagan’s election
    In 87, it was 33%
    From 88-90, it was 28%.
    91-92, 31%
    93-2000, 39.6%
    2001, 39.1%
    2002, 38.6%
    2003-2009, 35%

    So, obviously the top marginal rate doesn’t tell the whole story (AMT, etc.), but maybe we can all agree that when Obama talks about raising the top rate to 39%, that is not exactly radical.

  20. manhattanguy says:

    @karen: I heard Palin might run in the next election again. If she gets elected, I am moving out of this country.

    @Mannwich: Looks like a nice reversal in the last hour, PPT forgot to click the buy button? The long tail in the candle says to me we are going down tomorrow.

  21. Thor says:

    ugh – “their accustomed to” should have been “they’re” How embarrassing, one of my own pet peeves too (there, there, and they’re). The other one is “then” and “than”

  22. Mannwich says:

    @willid3: LOL!! I guess those unpaid “interns” (of all ages, I’m guessing) won’t be counted as “unemployed”? Might do a number on those median wage statistics though.

  23. The Curmudgeon says:


    I’m w/ you all the way on Eisenhower. People dismiss out of hand the notion that military service should have some bearing on who the commander-in-chief is, but…Ike knew some things.

    (And I don’t mean playing flyboy in the national guard).

  24. Mannwich says:

    @manhattan: I’ll be right behind and might move anyway if we can find a place that makes sense.

  25. pmorrisonfl says:

    @Karen’s Palin/Letterman story
    Does any one remember Emily Littela? (the Gilda Radner SNL character who took umbrage about misheard news stories?)
    Bristol? Oh, I thought you said ‘Pistol’.

  26. hopeImwrong says:

    Christopher – They see the abattoir. But, are in denial, and soothe their fear by buying a large big screen TV, or a designer purse (or even a knock off of a designer purse), or a chocolate, or something. JUST BUY SOMETHING ELSE UNTIL THE PAIN GOES AWAY!

  27. CNBC Sucks says:

    karen Says:

    June 11th, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    OT: More Palin craziness! Anyone following this? You want to be embarrassed about being an American? Here’s more for ya:

    Mannwich Says:

    June 11th, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    @karen: I’m already there. A long time ago.

    manhattanguy Says:

    June 11th, 2009 at 4:13 pm
    @karen: I heard Palin might run in the next election again. If she gets elected, I am moving out of this country.

    I say: GOOD RIDDANCE TO YOU, STINKING COMMIES. America, love it or leave it!

  28. Andy T says:

    Andy T Says: June 11th, 2009 at 1:48 pm
    Well. We got our little “breakout” on some “good news”…..wonder if we get a Wile E. Coyote moment…got pretty close to 962…..should be an interesting afternoon….

    Sort of looks like one of those Wile E. Coyote moments….. the bulls thought they were breaking out above 950 and the 200 day EMA and then no follow through…and no bids into the close…

    I think they settled the S&P500 pretty much spot on with the 200 day EMA and now it looks like a mild shooting star daily candlestick….though we’ve seen a lot of action like this the last several weeks. The bears need to hammer this market tomorrow to start making some headway. Bulls should be concerned about any action below 915 ish…it looks like the steep uptrend line from 3/20/09 crosses there…if that trendline breaks it will look pretty damn bad.

    Bigger picture though, the market needs to break down below 878-888 before bulls should become gravely concerned….

  29. pmorrisonfl says:

    @CNBC Sucks “I say: GOOD RIDDANCE TO YOU, STINKING COMMIES. America, love it or leave it!”

    Does this mean you’re emo?

  30. hopeImwrong says:

    I don’t want to stir things up too much, but government health care is just another step down the path of increasing debt, and spending money we don’t have, and feeding the attitude of entitlement of the US culture.

  31. leftback says:

    Someone is going to have to start a new blog – Financial Crisis – it is obvious that Lewis, Bernanke and Paulson have all lied under oath concerning the BAC-ML deal, inter alia.

    Watching Rep. Elijah Cummings toy with Ken Lewis was good theatre, but I still think he should take Kenny to the corner in Bawlmor to see how dey roll in the city where subprime loans have wrecked entire neighborhoods.

    Well, here at Schadenfreude we are indulging in a few long dollar trades, and were encouraged to note that the greenback bounced off support today, and that the collapse of the Treasury market still seems to be a few years off. Although it has not been a good week as yet, our gold short looks promising, and we are by no means certain that the energy stocks can climb vertically like Spiderman every single day for the rest of eternity.

    One interesting feature of the day was SRS looking strong – in spite of the pumping of various financials that was occurring for no apparent reason as the CEO of Badasset of America was being rotisseried on the Hill.

  32. hopeImwrong says:

    I thought cnbc sucks was indie

  33. Thor says:

    @manhattan: I’ll be right behind and might move anyway if we can find a place that makes sense.

    Me three – I got hit with the travel bug when I was a kid (grandpa was a pilot) and I’ve seen a lot of the world so far. Things aren’t ideal here, but I haven’t yet been to a place I’d want to live yet. Besides, my concern would be that if the shit really does hit the fan here most of the rest of the world is going to go down the tubes as well. I’d hate to be an American living abroad and owning property if things got bad enough in the countries they moved to.

  34. call me ahab says:

    mannwich Says-

    Agreed but how long before an increasinbly desperate public jacks up what is remaining on their credit and calls it a day? Don’t think it’s not already happening, especially for those who are using credit just to “pay the bills” and survive day to day.

    no doubt- I have been telling people that if it were me and I was upside down by $200,000 or $300,000 in my home I would mail my keys back to the bank and tell them to shove my house up their ass- and then since my credit will be shit anyway- just to stick it to the banks ones more time- I would stop paying any credit card bills-

    that would be my personal little bailout- and then I would have left over money to save or keep myself deep in Mad Dog 20/20- or any other little luxury

  35. The Curmudgeon says:


    Thanks for the tax rate info. That’s about how I remembered it (70% at start of Reagen era, less than today’s highest rate by the end).

    @Thor: Bring ‘em home…agreed. Forget the empire.

  36. danm says:

    It seems to me that great success has always contained the seeds of its own doom.

    What’s the expression?

    Rags to rags in 3 generations.

  37. danm says:

    I don’t want to stir things up too much, but government health care is just another step down the path of increasing debt, and spending money we don’t have, and feeding the attitude of entitlement of the US culture.

    Actually spending on anything that requires importing more oil is spending money you don’t have.

    Spending on healthcare does not require imports and is a true need that will be increasing in the near future. Every cost incurred is revenue for someone else.

  38. CNBC Sucks says:

    Goddamn you members of Ritholtz’s massive silent audience: I thought no one was paying attention to my “emo or indie” mtheme and you guys come out of the woodwork.

    I don’t know if manhattanguy will get the irony of my last comment, but Jeffy and kareny will. I was gonna add that “shame, shame, shame” to anyone who leaves America in the middle of the movie, for they will miss the ending straight out of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”.

    For the record, I think I posted that I took a test using fake answers and that I am indeed emo. I think all Americans should take an online “emo or indie” test so that they will have something to talk about when they are locked up naked in a basement waiting to be eaten.

    Don’t bash me for my new, highly-repetitive-to-the-point-of-nauseating “The Road” mtheme. As a Republican, I read as few books as possible so I am gonna try to maximize mileage on this one.

  39. leftback says:

    Look can we just get off the health care thing? Most people don’t understand that the HMO system we have now is a scam that defrauds employers and the insured and enriches the HMOs. I can engage Bruce on this one because he knows what he is talking about, but most people have never experienced a universal health care system that works and have been brainwashed.

    Now, back to things that we know more about. The mortgage market is officially frozen yoghurt, chaps.

    Andy, there are not many shorts so a Wile E Coyote moment is always possible. 880 is THE level, and I guess a range of 880-950 sets the parameters for now. I am still guessing the greenback grinds upwards from here. Things could get interesting when China stops buying oil and copper and reveals that everyone is playing checkers and table tennis over there in the factories instead of making plastic Barbie dolls.

  40. manhattanguy says:

    CNBCSucks: yes I got the irony :)

    I read this on a message board.

    We should replace a deck of cards for dollars. Why?

    Because you can do more magic tricks with dollars than a plain old deck of cards. LOL.

  41. pmorrisonfl says:

    @CNBC Sucks “I think all Americans should take an online “emo or indie” test”

    Personally, I was waiting for the “CNBC Sucks”-branded Facebook quiz.

  42. Thor says:

    leftback- I’m with you on getting off the healthcare topic. I don’t have a strong opinion about it either way and I think that it’s a lot like the middle east – we’re screwed no matter what we do.

  43. willid3 says:

    and the shrinking trade deficit behind the big number

    $70.3 billion: Foreign petroleum bill this year through April, down 54 percent from same period in 2008.
    $42.9 billion: Foreign autos and auto parts through April, down 49.5 percent from same period in 2008.
    $27.1 billion: Foreign food and beverages through April, down 6.3 percent from same period in 2008, with declines registered in almost all food categories from meat and dairy products to beer, wine and liquor.

    $23.4 billion: Autos and auto parts this year through April, down 43.4 percent from same period in 2008.
    $12.3 billion: Civilian aircraft, up 5.9 percent from same period in 2009.

    $29.3 billion: Food and beverages, down 20 percent from same period in 2009

  44. call me ahab says:


    the last 2 items look a bit suspect since it is comparing to the year we are already in

  45. Mannwich says:

    @willid3: My neighbor is an Importer/Exporter (no, not Art Vandalay) and I can attest that he says business has been downright terrible.

  46. willid3 says:

    they do don’t they? thats what happens when you have interns doing the news!!!! or you sent your newsroom to a 3rd world country. and forgot to add the extra editors to make up for it

  47. Thor says:

    Very interesting – anyone think anything will come of this?

  48. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    I am thinking if foreign countries bought as much of the 30 year as reported today, then they (China)is no longer inscrutable…they are F.O.S…..or one might say just plain whiners…

  49. manhattanguy says:

    Iran election results will play a part in determining oil prices tomorrow.

    Hopefully the reformist guy wins

  50. leftback says:

    If Iran has a change of government, then you can bet “crude oil inventories will be up massively” next week.
    In other words, I don’t believe the data are genuine, I think the NYMEX guys do whatever they need with it.

    It is nearly July, Americans are broke, and the lousy weather and $3 gas means nobody is going anywhere.
    Expect to see Oil Spike II winding down here in fairly short order as demand is weak and storage is full to the gills. This has mostly been a trade to buy oil cheaply and store it away and in the futures a lot of it is simply hedge funds betting against the $ – a retreat to $52 would be a 50% retrace of the move up from $32 to $72.

  51. call me ahab says:


    by oil declining- does that automatically equate to the $ strengthening? Or could the $ and oil go down concurrently?

    Does one automatically presage the other?

  52. leftback says:

    A nice post from Zero Hedge here on a very good sentiment indicator.

    The Rydex Leveraged Mutual Funds for some reason seem to provide a particularly good index of the misplaced sentiments of my dear friends the InvestTools*, and as ZH points out, the Rydex leveraged Bull:Bear ratio has reached a local maximum once again:

    * Bob and Barbara Bulge-Bracket, Donny Dealership, Lonny Loudmouth, Martha Mistimer and Johnny Retail.

  53. manhattanguy says:

    I think USD presage Oil.

    LB – agree artificial oil trade is almost over..

  54. leftback says:

    “Does one automatically presage the other?”

    If you believe that there is only one trade, then they will always behave reciprocally.

  55. willid3 says:

    leftback, its not so much the nymex gang as it is the ICE gang. that bunches has nobody looking at who is doing what to whom. and since its unregulated people can and do make it up as they need it
    and i suspect the price is now based on fairy tails and has nothing do with any thing else. they have so much in tankers for storage they are running out of places to dock them

  56. karen says:

    And, while I haven’t heard any rumors, gold did spike today before dropping back and Jim Sinclair just sent this note out:

    “So please pay attention to the following.

    I have heard rumors for some time, but today it was confirmed to me, that the Canadian mint’s present problems are not unique and that other depositories (vaults) have had an army of auditors descend on them in the last two weeks. Some of these depositories have names so famous that it would scare the hell out of you. The repercussions would be drastic if they turn out to be troubled.

    Why take the risk?

    I suggest to you now that you take delivery of all gold held in vaults and depositories on your behalf, but this time even from the most prestigious….”

  57. leftback says:

    Wonder who is long the black stuff this time?

    A lot of endowments and pension funds were late in and got themselves seriously burned last year.
    Pensions are a complete disaster in every way that you can imagine.

  58. call me ahab says:


    Karen- dumb it down for me please

  59. Thor says:

    Karen – but what does that mean for the laymen among us (me)?

    “I have heard rumors for some time, but today it was confirmed to me, that the Canadian mint’s present problems are not unique and that other depositories (vaults) have had an army of auditors descend on them in the last two weeks”

    I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but that sounds like it could mean any number of things. . . .

  60. karen says:

    Sorry, guys, here is a full link:

    it’s quite cryptic, i admit. i’ll check kitco and see if nadler has any comments to add… when james turk sends out an alert, it will be serious.

  61. call me ahab says:


    sorry dude- you lost me- pretend I am Tyler Durden getting his ass kicked by Lou

  62. karen says:

    nothing new from James Turk, here is his last commentary for anyone interested:

  63. call me ahab says:

    . . .because I am still not getting it

  64. Thor says:

    Karen – thanks! Yes, it is sort of cryptic, of course what news these days isn’t cryptic? ;-)

  65. willid3 says:

    if i understand the note Karen sent out, the folks who are suppose to keep the gold you buy (unless you actually take delivery) may not exactly have it stored. does that sum it up Karen?

  66. Thor says:

    willid3 to the rescue! – that would make sense wouldn’t it? Would anyone here be surprised if it turned out that some of these places don’t actually have the gold they’re supposed to be holding?

  67. karen says:

    Oh, my, I thought you got that part of it… yes, in other words, even Comex??? (that is a rumor i’ve heard in the past.) the Perth Mint??? I’ll do a google search and see what i can find…

  68. Christopher says:

    @ Thor …..“Why We Fight” ?? Movie??
    I’m a pop culture dunce.

    Canada has lots of freshwater….and it aint USD….but those winters….Vancouver Island area is very nice.

    I also think PR could bail quickly if/when USD crashes…love it there….but it has resource issues and hurricanes…

    Panama and Ecuador are others that I think may eject quickly from USD currency. No hurricanes.

  69. karen says:

    and this one is from yesterday with some tidbits if you don’t want to click the link:

    OTTAWA — On government orders, the Royal Canadian Mint has called for a criminal probe into as much as $20 million in unaccounted-for gold and precious metals at its Sussex Drive headquarters

    Until the matter is settled and the mint’s 2008 financial statement is finalized, employee performance bonuses are frozen. The bonuses range from four to nine per cent of an individual’s salary and are paid when the workforce meets or exceeds annual corporate profit targets. The target for 2008 was $36.3 million. The actual, but as yet unaudited, profits appears to have been $44.2 million

  70. Thor says:

    Chris – @ Thor …..“Why We Fight” ?? Movie??
    I’m a pop culture dunce.

    “Why We Fight” is a great documentary that came out a few years ago on the military industrial complex and it’s history in the US. Eisenhower coined the term and the documentary starts with the speech he gave when he left office in 1961.

    Don’t think I’d actually ever leave the country, I wouldn’t mind living abroad for a time just to experience another culture, but I’m an American boy to the core. We might have our problems now, but I love this country with all my heart, warts and all :-)

  71. willid3 says:

    so paraphrase an old old saying

    there ain’t gold in them thar hills

  72. manhattanguy says:

    Oil is selling off after hours. Goes with my equity prediction for tomorrow based on the bearish candle today.

  73. Some areas of the country actually reported double digit **drops** April to May. Foreclosure filings in Illinois dropped nearly 20%. Foreclosure filings in Illinois also dropped nearly 20%.

    There were even year over year drops. Foreclosures in Rhode Island for the month dropped 26.9% compared with May 2008. And in Massachusetts foreclosures were down 45.7% from the same period last year.


    BR: Why would you build an a bias to your analysis?

  74. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Damn! I knew I should have bought those puts on that spike to 960! :)

    It will certainly be interesting if we get an actual, meaningful correction in the market soon. It all just seems so pat lately. Everybody expects a small correction that gets bought aggressively by the fund managers with performance anxiety and new money from the average Joe/Jane who want in on all this new found bullishness. And then we’re off to those new highs of 1000-1100 (and higher estimates as we go higher). But the market never quite plays to the script does it? And this would a very unusual looking bear market bottom by historical standards if indeed we get no lower than 10% or so from here. Interesting times indeed.

  75. Onlooker from Troy says:

    LB re:

    That is quite the spike on the Rydex charts ain’t it? That and so many other indicators are sooo overbought and bullish here. It was all a bad dream! :)

  76. manhattanguy says:

    I think blow out of Latvian economy will start a dangerous domino effect in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. This might have an impact on Euro. Might be positive for USD though.

  77. [...] Filings are up 18%: US Foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repos) were 321,480 U.S. properties during May 2009. [...]

  78. I believe the problem with gold is that those various and sundry gold storage depots are the places that the ETFs and others store their gold is it not. Thus if the gold is missing then those ETFs and other large gold holders really are only paper promise tigers with no real claws backing them. It kinda makes me glad I’ve stuck to companies that have gold in the ground still (aka miners). Those are the safer vaults

    This is what many of the paranoid gold bugs have talked about. The danger of trusting the same ones who have manipulated to gold market to store gold and give out honest certificates of deposits was considered crazy. The risk, though, was supposed to be from confiscation, not outright theft

  79. fusionbaby says:

    Unemployment will continue; bankruptcies too; mortgage rates are going up; gas is going up; consumers are cutting back; over 1 million alt-a and option arms will be recasting/resetting from 2010-13; banks are holding back and hiding their non-performing assets and will start releasing them soon; and there are probably more negative drivers I’m not considering. The upshot… home prices are on the decline and will be for many years. The only way the gov could stop this deflationary pressure and its consquences would be to pay everyone’s mortgage off for them. Starting in the early 90′s, home prices continued to fall in Japan for close to 15 years. There may be some points in the not too distant future where some will declare that we’ve reached a bottom in residential real estate. Be wary. There won’t be a bottom for many many years to come. Biggest housing collapse in the history of the USA and we are in it.

  80. [...] South side or DC slums or inner city Philly; Rather, it hs been non-CRA regions — the Sand States — such as southern California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and South Florida. The closest thing to an [...]