Foreclosure can be a long process. It starts when a homeowner defaults on a mortgage and a bank or financial institution repossesses the home. And it ends when the bank sells the property to recoup the loan's unpaid balance.
The homes that banks repossessed in the third quarter of 2015 were in the foreclosure process for an average of 630 days -- the longest since real estate data company RealtyTrac started keeping track in the first quarter of 2007. The foreclosure process increased year-over-year in 28 states. In three of the 10 states with the highest year-over-year increases in total repossessed properties, the process took longer than 1,000 days.
Legal and legislative delays, including new laws regulating foreclosures in states like Nevada and Massachusetts, caused homes in some states to be caught in the foreclosure process for longer than usual.
Last quarter, however, saw a 66 percent increase in homes clearing those obstacles to complete the process, RealityTrac found. This means those homes will be flooding onto the market in the next six to 12 months.
Florida didn't quite make RealtyTrac's Top 10 -- coming in at No. 11 because its comparatively low 34 percent increase year-over-year meant the total number of repossessed properties held steadier than other states. Still, it actually had 22,252 homes repossessed last quarter, which is more than any other state on this list.
This extreme influx of bank-owned homes for sale may be good news for deal-seeking real estate investors. If they find the right bank-owned fixer-upper in the right location at the right price, they could see returns of up to 50 percent or more.
Will more "for sale" signs be popping up on repossessed properties in your neighborhood?
Here are the top 10 states with the country's highest third-quarter increases in repossessed homes.