U.S. foreclosure starts in the third quarter were at a seven-year low, with 174,366 U.S. properties starting the process, down 13 percent from the previous quarter and down 39 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.
It’s the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.
September marked the 36th consecutive month with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity, a trend that started in October 2010 when lenders and servicers were accused of “robo-signing” documents ahead of an historic settlement.
RealtyTrac’s latest update found that U.S. foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 131,232 U.S. properties in September, a 2 percent increase from the previous month but a 27 percent decrease from a year ago.
September numbers helped drop third quarter foreclosure activity to the lowest quarterly level since the second quarter of 2007.
There were a total of 376,931 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013, down 7 percent from the previous quarter and down 29 percent from the third quarter of 2012 — the biggest annual decrease since the second quarter of 2011.
One in every 348 housing units had a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
Other findings from RealtyTrac’s report:
- Third quarter foreclosure starts decreased from a year ago in 38 states including Colorado (down 71 percent), Arizona (down 63 percent), California (down 59 percent), Illinois (down 56 percent), and Florida (down 52 percent).
- Third quarter foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 11 states, including Maryland (up 259 percent), Oregon (up 252 percent), New Jersey (up 53 percent), Connecticut (up 52 percent), Nevada (up 36 percent), and New York (up 25 percent).
- Third quarter bank repossessions (REO) decreased 24 percent from a year ago but were up 7 percent from the previous quarter. A total of 119,485 U.S. properties were repossessed by lenders in the third quarter, putting the nation on pace for close to half a million total bank repossessions for the year.
- The quarterly increase in REOs nationwide was driven by quarterly increases in 26 states, including New York (up 65 percent), New Jersey (up 64 percent), Illinois (up 44 percent), Virginia (up 36 percent), Connecticut (up 34 percent), Indiana (up 30 percent), Nevada (up 29 percent), and California (up 19 percent).
- Overall foreclosure activity in September decreased from a year ago in 33 states, but was up from a year ago in 16 states, including Maryland (up 230 percent), Nevada (up 97 percent), Connecticut (up 69 percent), New Jersey (up 55 percent), Pennsylvania (up 34 percent), and New York (up 22 percent).