Here’s a bold prediction for you.. RealtyTrac will release their foreclosure report on Thursday, and I’m going to predict that the number of foreclosures will decline.

Alas, the prediction is not that bold… and the lower foreclosures is not a bullish phenomenon, but rather a result of the changing rules. California, as well as two other states are changing the minimum amount of time required before foreclosure hearings can begin. Lenders now have to wait a full 90 days from the first missed payment before they can begin foreclosure (it used to be 60 days).

Banking, and the banks’ potential losses from mortgages are still very far from transparent right now. The only way things look like they’re improving is if the numbers don’t reflect reality. We can expect more than a few people will point to the lower foreclosures as a reason “the bottom is in”, but I, for one, won’t be listening.

Edit 8/14 @ 10:00 AM: Oops, guess I was too optimistic.? “U.S. foreclosure activity in July increased 8 percent from the previous month and 55 percent from July 2007, according to the RealtyTrac Foreclosure Market Report released today.”? Even with the rule change, things sucked.

They do have pretty graphics though…