GAINES CAUTIOUS ABOUT FORECLOSURE DROPS (TAMU Real Estate Center Online News Story)
SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News, Dallas Morning News) – Foreclosure-tracking firms are reporting drops in foreclosure rates around Texas, but at least one housing expert cautions against jumping to conclusions.
“What we’ve had is a slowdown in foreclosure activity because of the ‘robo-signing’ scandal,” Dr. Jim Gaines told the San Antonio Express-News. Gaines is a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Foreclosure postings around the rest of the country have dipped because of fraud allegations leveled against financial institutions where employees “robo-signed” volumes of foreclosure paperwork without verifying the information. Gaines said Texas could be following the same pattern.
San Antonio-based foreclosure tracking firm RexReport reported 6.9 percent fewer foreclosures in the first half of 2011 than during the same period last year.
Foreclosure Listing Service said postings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are down 7 percent so far this year compared with the first six months of last year.
On the other hand, 2011 could, in retrospect, be seen as the turning point.
“At the local level, it really could be some early sign that we’ve gotten over the hump of the big wave of problems of foreclosures. It’s a relatively small drop-off, but at least it’s a drop-off,” Gaines said.