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Will The Foreclosure Boom Come Back To Hawaii?

According to the Pacific Business News, Hawaii foreclosures last month (May 2012) were down 70 percent  to the lowest level  since July 2008. Hawaii was ranked No. 40 in the nation for foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac.

According to RealtyTrac, there were 267 filings last month, compared with 900 in May 2011. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that’s the lowest for any month since 229 filings four years ago.

The fall off continues to be linked to an overhaul of Hawaii’s foreclosure law that caused lenders to stop filing cases out of court. The law passed in May 2011.

Act 48 is meant to provide homeowners with a fair chance to avoid foreclosure, including a mediation program.

As stated in the May 14, 2012 issue of the Pacific Business News a bill passed by the Hawaii Legislature to tweak the state’s year-old foreclosure law could further slow the rate of foreclosures in the Islands by requiring attorneys representing lenders to verify the accuracy of all case documents.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the provision contained in House Bill 1875, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, would apply to all new and pending foreclosure cases in Hawaii courts until July 1, 2017. The newspaper reports supporters say the provision is intended to protect consumers by stopping improper foreclosure cases from being filed, but attorneys say the effect will be that foreclosure cases will slow or stop altogether.

A comparison of foreclosed properties for the last 5 months of 2011 to the first 5 months of 2012 show there has been a significant decrease in the available and sold distressed properties. For example in August 2011 there were 35 available and 20 sold foreclosed properties in comparison to May 2012 where there were 12 available and 13 sold properties.

The screeching halt of foreclosures has really affected the Big Island real estate market.  We still have many on-island and mainland buyers who want to take advantage of the down turn in our real estate market, but we have very little to sell them.  The buyers will still come, even though historically less inventory will drive the prices up.

If you’d like more information or a list of our current foreclosure, please feel free to contact me anytime.

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