Will we see the banks/servicers using the trustee sales as a primary channel for selling REOs in 2010?

It looks like WaMu/Chase has been aggressively pricing their opening bids to move properties at the court house steps.  Their trustee has conducted 302 trustee sales this quarter, and only took back 109 properties, when the overall average lately has been around 50% of the trustee sales going back-to-bene.

Of the nine properties over $800,000 that they have sold to third parties at the court house steps in 4Q09, the average sales-price-to-published-bid was 62% – and their opening bids were even lower!

Since the foreclosure moratoriums expired, the trend lately has been that the number of trustee sales that resulted in going back-to-bene have stayed relatively steady, at around 1,000 per month.

It’s the 3rd-party purchases, and the cancellations that have been increasing:

trustee-sale results graph

This month’s numbers are incomplete – with three days to go there are still 425 trustee sales scheduled for December, 2009!

I’m hoping that the increases in 3rd-party purchases and cancellations means banks and servicers are looking to move more property, either by aggressively pricing their trustee sales (3rd-party buys) and/or completing more short sales (cancellations).

If WaMu and others are going to be using the trustee sales to unload properties, we’ll want to be there to enjoy the additional well-priced inventory!

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