Flagler County’s Real Foreclosure Status: No Bull

Based on bad data, the N-J’s reported July and August change in Flagler’s foreclosure picture as well as its #1 National Ranking in July are simply alarmist bullshit.

PALM COAST, Fla. – September 17, 2015 – The N-J reports on the Volusia and Flagler foreclosure scene today, quoting California-based RealtyTrac. They might as well look to a Ouija Board for foreclosure data. RealtyTrac and a Ouija Board are equally reliable.

The N-J reported in July (citing RealtyTrac) that Flagler County “led the nation with a ratio of 1 in every 192 homes” in some stage of foreclosure. Today’s August report has the ratio improving to only 1 in 497 homes.

Have they not heard of the “reasonability (or smell) test?” A July to August change from 1 in 192 to 1 in 497 represents a one-month drop of 61.4% in the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure. Hmm!!! Smells like you know what.

From Public Records

There were 43 new foreclosure filings in August, up from 30 in July (a normal month-to-month fluctuation).

There were 24 Certificates of Title issued in August, down from 46 in July. CTs are issued to convey title to the winning bidder at foreclosure auctions.

There were 612 open foreclosure cases (of all types of real property) in the county on August 14, up slightly from 599 reported as open on July 8.

MLS Data

  • Only 15.5% of Flagler County August single-family home sales were classified as distresses.
  • There were only 6 short sales in August. Only 13 of nearly 900 homes listed for sale are short sales. Only 26 are listed as REO (lender-owned).

Tom Bexley, Chief Deputy and Chief Operations Officer at the Clerk of Court, tells me that we are approaching normalcy. It’s basically “Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.”

The N-J explains that “RealtyTrac’s numbers differ from filings recorded by the local Clerk of court offices because not all warning notices result in lender repossessions.” Neither Bexley nor I can begin to explain that hooey.

To understand how RealtyTrac could get it so wrong, simply look at their methodology. RealtyTrac reports the “number of properties in some stage of foreclosure” as (number of Foreclosure Filings) + (number of foreclosure Notices of Sale) + (Foreclosure Sales Completed).

It makes no sense. It defies logic. It’s simply the sum of three numbers that are somewhat related. Following RealtyTrac’s methodology one would derive the number of people in Some Stage of Dying as follows:

The number of people who are in Some Stage of Dying” is equal to (Number of Live Births) + (number of Terminal Illness Notifications) + (number of Deaths).

So it seems reasonable to assume that the N-J’s reported July and August change in Flagler’s foreclosure picture as well as its #1 national ranking in July are simply alarmist bullshit. “Nothing to see here. Move along”

1 reply
  1. Paul M.
    Paul M. says:


    Toby as always great and accurate info. Could you do a piece based on number/% listing price, selling price days on market? For example homes under 100K, 100-150k, and so on. Thanks Paul M.

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