home foreclosures housing market economy realtytrac for sale
Matt York/AP
NEW YORK -- U.S. home foreclosure filings tumbled in June to a 6½-year low, a further sign the housing market is getting back on better footing, a report from RealtyTrac showed Thursday.

Overall, 127,790 properties had foreclosure filings last month, down 14 percent from May, and down 35 percent from a year earlier. It was the lowest level since December 2006.

There were also fewer homes entering the foreclosure process, while lenders seized less homes. In the first six months of the year, banks took over 248,538 homes, putting repossessions on track for about 500,000 for the year, which would be down from the over 671,000 seen last year.

"We are getting tantalizingly close to being back to normal, healthy foreclosure levels, at least on a nationwide basis," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Repossessions were down in 34 states in June from a year ago, though some states saw significant increases, including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Maryland.

The housing market has gotten back on its feet in the last year with home prices rising and sales improving. Fewer foreclosures have also helped the sector heal and improved homebuyer confidence.

States that process foreclosures through the court system, known as judicial states, appeared to be loosening the logjam of pending cases that has plagued the market.

Judicial foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 28,296 properties in June, up less than 1 percent from May but a jump of 34 percent from last year.

Some of the states with the biggest yearly increases in scheduled auctions are also states that have struggled the most with a backed-up pipeline of distressed homes, including New Jersey, Florida and New York.

Still, the time it takes to foreclose continued to lengthen. Properties foreclosed in the second quarter took an average 526 days to foreclose, up from 577 days in the first quarter.

"Once that number turns the corner and starts going down, that will be a strong indication that the lenders and courts have worked through the backlog and now we're just dealing with the fresher vintage of foreclosures," Blomquist said.

Foreclosure times were the longest in New York and New Jersey, with both states taking 1,033 days.

Hard-hit Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in the first half of the year, with a foreclosure filing on 1.7 percent of homes, or one in every 58. That's nearly three times the national average of one in every 164 homes.

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The foreclosure cycle was extended because of government interfered. Few people were helped by taxpayer draining government programs that probably will never disappear. Banks made out like bandits. If the whole process had worked itself out without government's type of help we'd all be a lot better off a lot faster. Thank Bill Clinton for starting the whole toxic loan fiasco.

August 06 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Toni Spamoni

Moreira, you lie...I live in CA and prices did not go up 100% but did go up as did the property tax that Brown touts as putting CA back in the black then was asked to give to pension plans. There is LOW inventory and houses are selling fast...especially to investors who buy them with cash and then turn around sell them for more and/or to rent....Obama's "foreclosure" home plan had nothing to do with these events and DID NOTHING for most people.... Foreclosures are down A BIT...whoop tee doo those still losing their homes are very happy I'm sure....

August 06 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

How is this good news for homeowners? You have to live somewhere. If you can sell your house now, assuming that someone else can afford to buy it, what are you going to do? Buy a more expensive house somewhere else? Oh that's right, the realtor's plan is for you to buy a cheaper home in Montana, where you will not be able to find any work. Or how about Texas, where property taxes are twice what they are where you live? Enjoy those sweltering hot, ridiculously humid, insect infested summers by the lake that has a water temperature of 90 degrees! Yee Ha!

August 06 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Way to go President Obama. Doing a great job cleaning up the mess you took over when you came into office.

August 06 2013 at 10:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply