Foreclosure activity in April fell to its lowest level in 74 months, but action is ramping up in some states, says a national foreclosure tracker.
In April, one of every 905 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing, market watcher RealtyTrac says. That was the lowest level since February 2007 — near the beginning of the nation’s foreclosure crisis — and down 23% from a year ago.
But foreclosure activity is increasing in some states where legal procedures and new laws to protect homeowners had slowed down foreclosures.
For example, in 26 states where foreclosures mostly go through the courts, scheduled foreclosure auctions in April were up 31% from a year ago to a 30-month high, RealtyTrac says. The auction is where the bank most often reclaims a foreclosed home.
The increase in scheduled auctions indicates that mortgage servicers are “serious about actually foreclosing,” says RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.
Two states where courts approve foreclosures are Florida and New Jersey. In Florida, one of the states hardest hit by foreclosures, scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 55% in April vs. a year ago. In New Jersey, they increased 91%.
In both states, foreclosures slowed dramatically several years ago after allegations surfaced that many cases were moving through the courts without proper documentation.