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Foreclosure Activity Drops Substantially

Foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 180,427 U.S. properties in September, according to RealtyTrac. The total number of filings last month was down 7 percent from August, down 16 percent from September 2011, and was the lowest monthly total recorded by RealtyTrac since July 2007.

The foreclosure tracking company says the decrease in September helped pull Q3 2012 numbers down to make it the lowest quarterly reading since the fourth quarter of 2007.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 531,576 properties during the third quarter of this year, a decrease of 5 percent from the second quarter and a decrease of 13 percent from the third quarter of 2011. It marks the ninth consecutive quarter of annual declines in foreclosure activity.

According to RealtyTrac’s report, one in every 248 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing during the July-to-September period. The company says U.S. foreclosure starts in the third quarter decreased both from the previous quarter and a year ago, reversing the rise seen in new foreclosures during the second quarter.

“We’ve been waiting for the other foreclosure shoe to drop since late 2010 … but that other shoe is instead being carefully lowered to the floor and therefore making little noise in the housing market —- at least at a national level,” said RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist.

“Make no mistake, however,” Blomquist added, “the other shoe is dropping quite loudly in certain states, primarily those where foreclosure activity was held back the most last year.”

A number of judicial foreclosure states — including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, and New York –- registered substantial year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, whereas non-judicial foreclosure states such as California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and Michigan posted sizable declines.

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