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RealtyTrac: April foreclosure filings drop 23%

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U.S. foreclosure filings fell 5% from March to April with default slips, scheduled auction notices and bank repossessions targeting 144,790 properties last month, RealtyTrac said.

Compared to year ago levels, foreclosure filings declined 23% in April and total foreclosure activity reached a 74-month low, the real estate data firm added.

The study notes one out of every 905 U.S. housing units faced a foreclosure filing last month.

"The April numbers indicate that the pig is moving through the python when it comes to deferred foreclosures in judicial foreclosure states," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Foreclosure starts have been increasing for several months in many of the judicial states, and now that increased volume is showing up in the second stage of the process: the public foreclosure auction."

The differences in judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states remained magnified with judicial foreclosure auctions increasing 22% from March to April and rising 31% from year ago levels to the highest point in over two years, RealtyTrac added.

Scheduled non-judicial foreclosure auctions, on the other hand, fell 7% from March to April and are down 43% from last year, hitting an 88-month low.

"Meanwhile, foreclosure starts are bouncing higher in a handful of non-judicial states where servicers are adjusting to legislation designed to prevent improper foreclosures," Blomquist added. "This includes Nevada, Washington and Arkansas, where foreclosure starts have been increasing on an annual basis since late 2012, along with Oregon and California, where foreclosure starts are still down from a year ago but have been moving steadily higher in recent months."

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