RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Down 5% In April

Foreclosure filings were reported on 188,780 U.S. properties in April, the lowest monthly total since July 2007, according to new data released by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

April foreclosure activity decreased 5% from the previous month and was down 14% from April 2011. RealtyTrac reports that one in every 698 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

After three straight monthly increases, U.S. foreclosure starts decreased 4% from March to April. A total of 97,665 properties started the foreclosure process for the first time during the month, down 2% from April 2011. Despite the overall decrease in foreclosure starts, 26 states posted monthly increases in foreclosure starts and 27 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts.

The combined foreclosure activity in the 24 states with a nonjudicial foreclosure process and the District of Columbia decreased 7% from the previous month and was down 29% from April 2011. Combined foreclosure activity in the 26 states with a judicial foreclosure process decreased 3% from the previous month, but was still up 15% from April 2011. Foreclosure activity decreased on a month-over-month basis in 14 of the judicial foreclosure states but increased on a year-over-year basis in 15 of the judicial foreclosure states.

‘Rising foreclosure activity in many state and local markets in April was masked at the national level by sizable decreases in hard-hit foreclosure states like California, Arizona and Nevada,’ says Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. ‘Those three states, and several other nonjudicial foreclosure states like them, more efficiently processed foreclosures last year, resulting in fewer catch-up foreclosures this year. In addition, more distressed loans are being diverted into short sales rather than becoming completed foreclosures. Our preliminary first-quarter sales data shows that pre-foreclosure sales – typically short sales – are on pace to outnumber sales of bank-owned properties during the quarter in California, Arizona and 10 other states.’


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