Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How many orders of notice result in foreclosure deeds?

Two documents form the bookends of every foreclosure: the Order of Notice which comes at the beginning and the Foreclosure Deed which comes at the end. But every Order of Notice does not necessarily result in a Foreclosure Deed. A borrower who is the recipient of an Order of Notice might avoid foreclosure by (1) negotiating a modification of the mortgage with the lender; (2) obtaining sufficient funds from other sources to bring the mortgage current; (3) refinancing the mortgage; (4) selling the property; (5) conveying the property to the lender with a deed in lieu of foreclosure; or (6) some other option.

To try to determine what percentage of Orders of Notice ripen into Foreclosure Deeds, I generated a list of all Orders of Notice recorded for property in Lowell from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2010 and then a list of all Foreclosure Deeds recorded for property in Lowell from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010. The six month offset was to account for the approximately six month gap between the recording of the Order of Notice and of the Foreclosure Deed for the same property that is shown in Figure 8 above. The two lists were then combined and sorted by address and date. Every Order of Notice on that list was then categorized as (1) having a corresponding foreclosure deed; (2) having no corresponding foreclosure deed; and (3) being a duplicate of another Order of Notice.

There were a total of 2053 Orders of Notice on the list and only 1305 Foreclosure Deeds. The number of Orders of Notice that matched Foreclosure Deeds was 1284 (63%); the number that had no corresponding Foreclosure Deeds was 645 (31%); and the number of Orders of Notice that were duplicates was 124 (6%). So fewer only two out of every three Orders of Notice result in a foreclosure.

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