Total U.S. foreclosures fell last month to the lowest point in seven years, according to foreclosure data market RealtyTrac, a sign that a slowly healing economy is also resolving the foreclosure crisis.
There were 113,454 foreclosure filings – including default notices, auctions and bank repossessions – in November, a 15 percent decrease from October and a 37 percent drop from November 2012.That represents the largest monthly decline since November 2010, when the “robo-signing” scandal forced many banks to halt foreclosure processing.
Overall, foreclosure filings are at their lowest level since December 2006 and while they are much lower than peak of the crisis when foreclosures averaged 300,000 a month, they are still significantly above the pre-mortgage meltdown average of 86,000 a month.
“While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a statement. “While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold.”
The national foreclosure rate in November fell to one foreclosure action out of every 1,155 U.S. housing units. And problems are not uniform across the country. Certain states, especially those with judicial review of every foreclosure, are still struggling. Florida had the highest rate of foreclosure, followed by Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina and Illinois.