Utah News
3:53 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Is Utah's Drop in Foreclosure Rate Too Good to Be True?

The latest foreclosure numbers hitting Utah appear to be good news. The latest report by RealtyTrac shows the Beehive state dropped to 26th in the nation in filings, down 70 percent from one year ago. But as Jessica Gail reports, some experts worry the numbers may be short lived.

Every month Utah gets a foreclosure ranking: "Utah has flirted with being in the top ten and one of those top tier states, " says  RealtyTrac’s Vice President Daren Bloomquist, but last month Utah’s ranking dropped...significantly, “Dropped to the 26th highest foreclosure rate in the country and a foreclosure rate that’s well below the national average.”

That’s more than a 70% fall from a year ago and an 11 point drop from June. Which is why Bloomquist says it might be too good to be true.

“My red flags go up when I see this. When we see big drop offs like this it usually has to do with artificial intervention into the market rather than a natural decline or a natural improvement in the market which would usually more of a gradual decrease in foreclosure activity.”

Will VanderToolen, Director of Counseling Services at AAA Fair Credit Foundation, a Housing Assistance and Credit Counseling Service, says the latest report doesn’t match up with what he’s been seeing in recent weeks.

“We’re seeing an increased need for foreclosure prevention services here in our agency," he says but notes not everyone coming into their office will end up filing a foreclosure notice. And he says, he remains hopeful that even if Utah’s 26th ranking doesn’t stick, it’s downward trend will.

“We hope that we can be excited by this. We’ve been hit by foreclosures for so long and so many months and years now that a lot of the properties that may have been in jeopardy have already gone through the foreclosure cycle.”

California, Arizona and Florida had the highest foreclosure rates in the nation for July.