Lowered foreclosure activity

New data from RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure filings nationwide dropped 14 percent between January and February, as overall activity last month sunk to its lowest level since February of 2008.

RealtyTrac says total foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – were reported on 225,101 properties in February, a 27 percent decrease from a year earlier and the biggest year-over-year decline since the company began issuing its report in 2005.

One in every 577 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing last month, as default notices, auction announcements, and new REOs all hit their lowest readings in more than a year and a half in RealtyTrac’s study.

On the surface, all good news for an industry trying to get a handle on delinquencies and property repossessions, but RealtyTrac says the sharp decline is likely the result of processing delays following last fall’s robo-signing problems.

“Foreclosure activity dropped to a 36-month low in February as allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets,” said James Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s

CEO. “[T]he bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures.”

Saccacio added, “We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but…monthly volume may never return to its peak in March 2010 of more than 367,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings.”

A total of 63,165 U.S. properties received default notices (NOD, LIS) for the first time in February. Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled for the first time on 97,293 homes last month, while lenders completed foreclosure on 64,643 properties…

Read more of DSNews.com’s article here: “Foreclosure Activity Sinks to Three-Year Low.”

Although foreclosure filings have dropped in the nation, they vary from area to area.  How is your area doing?
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