Fewer troubled property owners in US, giving hope that foreclosure crisis is slowing

Foreclosure filings in the US fell for the third month in a row in October but are still considerably higher than they were a year ago, according to the latest figures to be published.

The data from Realty Trac shows they decreased 3% in October. It said three consecutive monthly declines are ‘unprecedented’ but foreclosures are still some 19% higher than this time last year.

Nevada, California and Florida continue to have the highest number of foreclosures although the rate is declining. Foreclosure activity in Nevada fell 26% but it still tops the nation’s foreclosure table with one in every 80 homes in foreclosure. It’s a 4% decrease though from October 2008, the first ever year-over-year decline in Nevada since RealtyTrac began calculating the change in January 2006.

California came in second for the second month in a row. One in every 156 homes received a foreclosure filing in October. A total of 85,420 properties foreclosed during the month, a 1% drop from September but still nearly 50% above the level seen in October 2008.

Florida had the third highest foreclosure rate with one in every 168 homes foreclosing. For October, 51,911 properties foreclosed, a 6% decrease from the month before and a 4% drop from a year ago. It marked the first year-over-year decrease for Florida since July 2006, according to the report.

‘Three consecutive monthly declines is unprecedented for our report, and on first blush an indication that the foreclosure tide may be turning,’ said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

However, Saccacio added that high risk mortgages, negative equity and unemployment continue to fuel foreclosure activity. ‘Despite all the efforts and resources directed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure we continue to see foreclosure activity levels that are substantially higher than a year ago in most states,’ Saccacio said.


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