RealtyTrac counted a total of 154,281 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions — last month. The number is up 2 percent from January, but is down a full 25 percent from February 2012.
The number of American homes entering the foreclosure pipeline also declined 25 percent from a year earlier, and bank repossessions tumbled 29 percent year-over-year to land at their lowest volume since September 2007.
“At a high level the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says. “But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system.”
The highest rates of foreclosure were documented in Florida, Nevada, and Illinois.