Foreclosure filings drop 25%

Hit lowest level since 2007: RealtyTrac

Foreclosure filings plummeted 26% from 2012 to 2013, with 1.4 million actions recorded last year — the lowest annual total since 2007.

Default data firm RealtyTrac published those numbers Thursday in its Foreclosure Market Report, noting that since the peak of foreclosure filings in 2010, completed default actions have fallen 53%.

Back in 2010, 2.9 million properties faced foreclosure filings.

"Millions of homeowners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst — both in the form of homes lost to directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. 

"But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014 given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states — which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory," Blomquist added.

The amount of housing units that had at least one foreclosure filing during the year fell to 1.04% from 1.39% in 2012.

Meanwhile, the five states with the highest foreclosure rates in 2013 included Florida (3.01%), Nevada (2.16%), Illinois (1.89%), Maryland (1.57%) and Ohio (1.53%).

In December alone, more than 1.2 million properties nationwide were in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned, down 19% from December 2012.

In addition, Florida accounted for the biggest share of U.S. foreclosure inventory, with 306,018 properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned — 25% of the national total.

However, Florida’s foreclosure inventory was almost unchanged from a year ago, while still down 18% from the peak of 371,216 in November 2010.

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