Foreclosure Rates
Paul Sakuma/AP
By Elvina Nawaguna

WASHINGTON -- Foreclosure activity across the United States fell 1 percent last month, as banks scheduled fewer auctions even as they reclaimed more homes, a report from RealtyTrac said Thursday.

The latest drop brought foreclosure activity, which includes foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, 20 percent below its year-ago level. It was the 43rd consecutive month foreclosure activity was down on an annual basis.

According to RealtyTrac, which tracks and compiles housing market data, 115,830 homes were at some stage of the foreclosure process last month. On the eve of the economic downturn in 2006, foreclosure activity was running at about 85,000 properties a month. U.S. foreclosures peaked at 2.9 million properties with filings in 2010.

"What this means is that we are getting closer to pre-recession levels of foreclosure activity," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist told Reuters.

Bank repossessions, though still down 14 percent from a year ago, were up 4 percent in April, partly due to state and government interventions that slowed down the foreclosure process. Overall, 30,056 homes were repossessed.

"The rise in bank repossession in many states is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the recent housing crisis," Blomquist said.

Florida, with one in every 400 homes facing foreclosure, continued to have the highest rate in the nation, followed by Maryland, Delaware and Indiana.

A total of 49,239 homes were scheduled for a foreclosure auction last month, down 3 percent from March and 21 percent from a year ago. It was the 41st straight month in which scheduled auctions were down on a year-on-year basis.

Many of the bank-owned homes are of low quality and in bottom markets, but will provide much-needed inventory for sale in the coming months, Blomquist said

The housing market has taken a hit from a run-up in interest rates over the past year and an unusually cold winter, but a report last month on contract signings for March suggested the industry is getting back on its feet.

"We know the ending to the story; we know that we expect, by this time next year, foreclosure activity to be back to pre-recession levels," Blomquist said. "There are going to be some bumps on that path to normal, but we don't see any headwinds that would cause foreclosures to rise."

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Until the next crisis hits

May 15 2014 at 10:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It really is amazing how many financially ignorant people are out there.
Corporations/businesses/companies are out to do one and only one thing.
That is to make as much money as possible for their owners (shareholders) utilizing any legally available means. If they happen to make someone happy that is just a side product. Politicians/government are out to grab as much power as possible. If they make anyone happy that is also just a side product.
Stop living in fantasy world people...There is no Santa Claus,

May 15 2014 at 7:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Why FL of all places to have's nice and warm all year....

May 15 2014 at 5:07 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Banks are using our deposit monies so they can make more money for themselves. When we are receiving only .13 a month for over $10,000. in the bank. Something is terribly wrong here. Why save then?

Why is our Federal Banking Agency not paying attention to these 'small' interest rates for their customers - ? By helping those who are trying to save and get ahead, wouldn't that help those who are trying to put their monies away for a rainy day - ???

May 15 2014 at 4:19 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Carolyn's comment

Of course they are using deposits in the interest of self profit. Did you somehow miss Business 101? Maybe you could rally your troops and start a non-profit bank. Manage all deposits free of charge and lend at a zero percentage rate. You will be a hit.

May 15 2014 at 5:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Reclaim? I couldn't give my house away. It took the bank 6 years to finally take a deed in lieu. Then after chapter 7 they still wanted a make a deal with me. The house is for sale now. It's actually a nice house with 2 new central A/C, roof, siding, doors and windows.

May 15 2014 at 3:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cyretired's comment

It takes more than regular maintenance to make a home saleable. Location, location, location, an excellent school district, low crime and educated and employed neighbors make all the difference in the world.

May 15 2014 at 5:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Banks are not in business to help people buy houses...they are in business to make money with the money of depositors....just saying....

May 15 2014 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Headlines seem somewhat contradictory…fewer foreclosures as banks reclaim more homes?????

May 15 2014 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Every recession presents opportunity for the wealthy to gain more wealth. When real estate crashes, which it has done every decade, people like my sister buy up properties for cash, rent them to those who lost home, and sell them when pricing increases to past levels. Hmm, wonder if its fixed?

May 15 2014 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sam54ct's comment

My sister is not wealthy and bought a couple with cheap mortgage money. My daughter is single, age 29, not wealthy, and was able to buy a couple with cheap mortgage money. I am not wealthy and was to buy a few, all with cheap mortgage money. You just have to have a basic understanding of finances, be responsible, and positioned yourself correctly.... and the banks love you.

May 15 2014 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So Full Of S--t .I cant believe our whole country is built on LIES!

May 15 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

The Box store was hurt by the weather and a cut in food stamps announced on the business news today. So that's it they are firing people just so they can get food stamps and boost sales! More Foreclosures and more people out of work means more food stamps help the bottom line for importers of cheap outsourced goods!

May 15 2014 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply