Foreclosure filings dropped to a 3-year low in February due to an ongoing backlog following last year’s halt in activity, according to a RealtyTrac report on Thursday.
Notices of default, auctions and bank repossessions tumbled 13.9 percent from January to 225,101, the lowest since February 2008. Filings dropped 27 percent from February of last year, the biggest year-over-year drop since RealtyTrac started the report in 2005.
Investigations into the foreclosure process prompted temporary halts from some servicers late last year.
A bottleneck among lenders, servicers and attorneys as they refile paperwork that was improperly done means homes that would otherwise be delinquent aren’t being processed, said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
“The drop-off was too severe to be organic,” said Sharga. “There’s nothing in the underlying conditions that are causing foreclosures to suggest they should be going down yet.”
Banks foreclosed on 64,643 properties in February, down 17 percent from the month before.
Nevada saw the highest state foreclosure rate for the 50th month in a row with a foreclosure filing for one in every 119 homes. Overall, 10 states accounted for more than 70 percent of total national filings, and California alone accounted for a quarter.
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