Bringing the Economy Home

Why Idaho’s Fast Foreclosure Process Pays Off For The State’s Housing Market

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Housing markets show more signs of revival in states like Idaho, where homes move through foreclosure quickly.

This morning, NPR’s Morning Edition took a look at Florida’s slowest-in-the-nation foreclosure process. The state’s foreclosure rate recently surpassed Nevada’s to become the highest in the country. Many say Florida’s long legal process is to blame.

In Idaho, by contrast, the foreclosure process is unusually short. That’s according to RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist. He says states like Idaho — those that bottomed out quickly in the housing crisis — are the luckier ones.

“Part of the formula for quickly bottoming out was a relatively fast foreclosure process,” he observes. “That’s the one element I see. Those markets were hit hard early on, but were able to get through the foreclosure problem more quickly, which allowed the home prices to bottom out, which then attracted more demand from buyers and investors to soak up that inventory of distressed properties.”

In Florida, the average length of time that passes between the day a notice of default is filed and the day a property is repossessed by the bank is more than 850 days. Nationwide, it’s 414 days. In Idaho, it’s just 304.

That’s in part because Idaho has a non-judicial foreclosure process. That means, basically, that Idaho doesn’t execute foreclosures through the court system. Critics of non-judicial foreclosure say it’s less protective of homeowners.


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