The foreclosure rate is broadly in decline across the country as the economy continues to recover from the 2008 recession. But some states are still struggling with high foreclosure rates, according to a report from Experian. Overall, residential foreclosures dropped 27% last year to 676,525 – the lowest level since 2005, Attom Data Solutions reported. On average, one in every 1,776 US homes is currently in foreclosure. According to Experian, it’s primarily coastal states where foreclosure numbers are still trending high. The credit rating agency recently looked at the 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates:
- New Mexico
One out of every 1,386 homes are in foreclosure, and the three major foreclosure categories – pre-foreclosure, auctions, and bank-owned home repossessions – are all up significantly, according to Experian. Pre-foreclosures were up 17.7% in the state during the first quarter, while bank-owned repossessions spiked by 34.9%.
The city of Las Vegas alone recorded about 500 home foreclosures per month in the fourth quarter of 2017 – up from just 32 per month in the third quarter. “A state government law that changed the way Nevada handles foreclosures seems to have stalled foreclosures as the law rolled out, but home repossessions are back up again as banks and lenders have a better grip on how the new legislation works,” Experian said.
One in every 1,289 homes was in foreclosure as of March. The state had a “skyrocketing” one-month bank-owned foreclosure rate of 77.3% from the middle of February to the middle of March, Experian reported.
- South Carolina
One in every 1,120 homes was in foreclosure in the first quarter, with 59.1% in pre-foreclosure, according to Experian. The state say auction, pre-foreclosure and bank-owned foreclosure all up more than 20% in the first quarter.
Florida is still in the top 10 states with the most foreclosures, but “does seem to be on the comeback trail,” Experian said. The state had 24,215 foreclosures filed in 2017 – compared to 43,772 in 2016.
One out of every 1,468 homes were in foreclosure as of March, Experian reported. However, the foreclosure situation in Connecticut seems to be improving, as bank-owned foreclosures dropped 35.8% between March of 2016 and March of 2017. However, in the last year, bank-owned foreclosures have risen 6.3%, Experian reported.
Illinois has a 0.86% foreclosure rate, one of the highest in the country – and is also losing residents left and right. Between July of 2016 and July of 2017, more than 33,000 residents left Illinois – the most in the US – many due to onerous tax burdens.
Maryland had a 0.95% foreclosure rate at the end of 2017 – about one in every 1,069 homes.
Delaware saw a 16% spike in foreclosures last year, according to Experian. The state has a 1.13% foreclosure rate.
- New Jersey
New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 605 properties in some stage of foreclosure in 2018, Experian reported. That’s a 1.61% foreclosure rate. Bank repossessions in New Jersey hit an 11-year high last year, while the rest of the United States saw repossessions hit an 11-year low.
US ready to impose sanctions on European companies in Iran, Bolton says
National Security Adviser John Bolton warned Sunday that Washington is prepared to impose sanctions on European companies if their governments don’t heed President Donald Trump’s demand to stop dealing with Iran. “Europeans are going to face the effective US sanctions,” Mr. Bolton said on ABC’s “This Week.” Mr. Bolton’s comments are the latest salvo in the Trump administration’s campaign to put economic pressure on Iran and America’s European allies to accept a new agreement that would impose tougher restrictions on the Iran’s nuclear activities, constrain its missile program and roll back its support for militant groups. The new agreement would supplant the Iran nuclear accord, which Mr. Trump formally abandoned last week but which the leaders of Britain, France and Germany have vowed to preserve. European officials have said they looking for ways to help their companies escape the brunt of the US sanctions. France’s foreign minister said Friday he had asked for exemptions or longer grace periods for the exit of French companies such as oil-and-gas giant Total SA and car maker Peugeot SA that have returned to the Iranian market since the 2015 nuclear accord. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday” that he is planning to approach European diplomats in the next several days to pursue the new deal, which would dispense with the US rationale to sanction European companies. But Mr. Pompeo’s diplomatic effort faces obstacles.
European diplomats have complained that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran agreement when they were still eager to continue consultations and without explaining Washington’s new nuclear demands on Tehran. The Trump administration’s demands that Iran abandon its aggressive posture in the Middle East also goes beyond what many European diplomats believe Iran would accept. On Tuesday, the administration urged Iran to stop its support for Hezbollah, the Lebanese group that has joined Iranian forces in supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It also demanded that Iran cease supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels, who have been at war with Tehran’s archenemy Saudi Arabia, end cyberattacks against the US and its allies, stop menacing US military ships in the Persian Gulf and abandon its rhetoric about destroying Israel. In the other areas, US and European diplomats have some shared views on how to approach Iran, which could be carried over if there were a new agreement. In recent months, US and European diplomats have agreed on ways to constrain Iran’s missile program and discussed how to strengthen inspections of Iran’s nuclear program. “That work is not going to be for nothing,” a State Department official said. Despite complaints in European capitals, Mr. Bolton suggested that European allies might agree to new US approach once they digest the Mr. Trump’s decision and face the threat of sanctions. “They’re really surprised we got out of it, really surprised at the re-imposition of strict sanctions,” he said in a separate appearance on CNN. “”I think that will sink in and we’ll see what happens then.”
Federal Reserve Board to vote on lifting Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions
Back in February, the Federal Reserve announced it would restrict the growth of Wells Fargo until it “sufficiently improves its governance and controls,” citing what it called compliance breakdowns and widespread consumer abuses as the primary motivations for the order. Now, following pressure from Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Fed Chair Jerome Powell has indicated that the Federal Reserve Board of Governors will hold a vote to decide whether or not to lift those growth restrictions placed on the megabank, according to an article from Reuters. From the article: “The Fed’s policy shift could make it tougher for Wells Fargo to shake off the unprecedented sanctions that the bank said on Thursday are expected to crimp earnings by around $100 million. In February, the Fed ordered Wells Fargo to keep its assets below $1.95 trillion until it had improved its governance and risk controls following a wave of sales practices scandals. The regulator previously said Fed staff would assess the adequacy of the bank’s remediation plan, which would also be reviewed by an independent third party. During a congressional hearing in March and in a follow-up letter, however, Senator Warren pressed Fed Chair Jerome Powell to submit the bank’s remediation plan to a board vote and to consider publishing the third-party review.”
The terms of the consent cease and desist order require Wells Fargo to submit a plan to improve its risk management policies and to improve the effectiveness of its board of directors. During a Senate Banking Committee hearing in March, Warren pressed Powell to “consider requiring a vote of the Fed before” approving a plan, Powell agreed. Later in April, she urged him to commit to a public vote on the bank’s remediation plans and to consider releasing the third-party review required by the consent order. In a letter published by Warren’s office on Friday, Powell wrote to the senator and said that he’s accepted a request for a board vote. “After further consideration, the decision about terminating the asset growth restriction will be made by a vote of the Board of Governors,” Powell said in the letter, adding, “we will review that report to determine whether and to what extent the report can be publicly disclosed.” According to Reuters reporter Michelle Price, the Fed declined to comment on Friday beyond Powell’s letter, and a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo declined to comment on the Fed’s decision, too.
What’s on Beijing’s ‘shopping list’
Negotiators from the US and China are scheduled to meet in Washington on Monday, where, after months of trade tensions, Beijing is said to be open to purchasing a wider array of US goods and services. President Donald Trump has insisted that the countries reduce the $370 billion trade deficit with China by $200 billion. Officials from Beijing are expected to arrive in D.C. armed with a list of items they will offer to import from the US to meet that goal, The Wall Street Journal reported. China is likely to offer increasing its purchase of aircraft, autos, natural gas and some agricultural commodities, Dan Ikenson, director of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, told FOX Business. He added that Beijing may also offer to give foreign companies greater access to its financial services industry. When a US delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with officials in Beijing last week, no deal was reached largely because China refused a demand to cut the trade deficit by $200 billion within the next two years.
Less chance of an economic downturn through early 2019?
A Fed report, released Friday, said the economy looks “slightly stronger now than it did three months ago,” according to 36 forecasters surveyed by the Philadelphia Fed. The forecasters also predict that real GDP will increase at an annual rate of 3% for both this quarter and next quarter, growing slightly from previous estimates from three months ago, the report said. From the report: “The forecasters predict real GDP will grow at an annual rate of 3.0 % this quarter and next quarter, up slightly from the estimates of three months ago. On an annual-average over annual-average basis, the forecasters predict real GDP growing 2.8 % in 2018, 2.7 % in 2019, 1.9 % in 2020, and 2.0 % in 2021. The forecasters see a marginally brighter outlook for the unemployment rate. The forecasters predict the unemployment rate will average 3.9 % in 2018, 3.7 % in 2019, 3.9 % in 2020, and 4.0 % in 2021. The projections for 2018 and 2019 are slightly below those of the last survey, indicating a better outlook for unemployment.”