Foreclosures Plummet to 5-Year Lows

For the third consecutive month, foreclosure filings dropped, sinking to their lowest level since July 2007, according to RealtyTrac’s April report on nationwide foreclosure activity.

Foreclosure activity, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, fell 5 percent from March to April and were down 14 percent year-over-year.

“More distressed loans are being diverted into short sales rather than becoming completed foreclosures,” says Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac.

The drop in foreclosure activity was mixed, however.

“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,” Moore said in a statement.

For example, in Nevada and Arizona, bank repossessions dropped about 70 percent and by more than 50 percent in California.

Meanwhile, in states like Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois, which require judicial review, foreclosure activity increased. New Jersey had the largest annual increase in foreclosure starts in April seeing a 180 percent jump.

In the 26 states that have a judicial foreclosure process, foreclosure activity was up 15 percent compared to April 2011.

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