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April Foreclosure Rates Down 9 Percent

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Could it be, just maybe, that after months of record foreclosure filings, the pace is slowing?

According to the online foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings fell 9 percent in April compared to the previous month and dropped 2 percent from a year ago.

“April was the first month in the history of our report with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac in a statement.

But the good news was tempered by the fact bank repossessions of homes also hit a monthly high. Saccacio said lenders continue to work through a backlog of properties already in the foreclosure process, therefore more homeowners will continue to lose their homes even as new foreclosure filings drop.

The “sand states” continued to have the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Nevada had the highest rate in the nation for the 40th month in a row. One in every 69 homes in the state received a foreclosure filing in April, more than five times the national average. Arizona had the second highest rate, followed by Florida and California.

New Jersey had the 20th highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 527 homes receiving a foreclosure notice. The Garden State saw foreclosure filings increase 32 percent from a year ago.

By contrast, foreclosure filings in New York State fell near more than 21 percent compared to April of last year. One in 1,817 homes received a foreclosure notice last month.

Nationwide, California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Nevada were responsible for more than half of all foreclosure filings.