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Another Foreclosure Headline Debunked

Wait a Minute... Not So Fast

It amazes me how many times media will report on a press release and assume they know what the release is saying by just reading the headline and perhaps the first paragraph. This week was no exception.

Several newspapers repeated a headline on Realty Trac‘s press release claiming

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10% in January

And many papers repeated the first paragraph:

RealtyTrac®,  the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its January  2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings — default  notices, scheduled auctions and bank  repossessions — were reported on 315,716 U.S. properties during the month,  a decrease of nearly 10 percent from the previous month.

That is, in fact, what the press release said. But when that is all you print, the reader could be led to believe that foreclosures are on the decrease and make important decisions based on that belief. However, as we always do, let’s go past the headline and into the meat of the release. In the third paragraph, James J. Saccacio, chief  executive officer of RealtyTrac says:

January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a  year ago: a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity  followed by a 10 percent drop in January. If  history repeats itself we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan  modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure  alternatives works.

We can see that although the headline was correct, the facts of the release painted a totally different picture. As a matter of fact, below is the foreclosure map from Realty Trac.

We still have a very serious foreclosure problem in the vast majority of neighborhoods in this country. It will become even a bigger challenge as 2010 moves forward.

What does that mean to you?

If you are thinking of selling your home, do it now before we “see a surge in the (foreclosure) numbers over the next few months.”


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  1. […] Foreclosures Yesterday, I posted a blog on foreclosures. In that post I said: We still have a very serious foreclosure problem in the vast majority of neighborhoods in […]

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