Foreclosure filings and sales declined dramatically in several Western states, especially Nevada, according to data from ForeclosureRadar that shows foreclosure sales down in February.

Foreclosure filings dropped for the month in California, Nevada and Washington. Filings rose 6% in Arizona, while Oregon filings surged 39%, but the increases offset declines from the previous month, the real estate data firm said.

Foreclose sales dropped the most in Nevada where they retreated by 40%. They also dropped in Oregon (-32.3%), California (-22.3%), Arizona (-17.3%) and Washington (-6.7).

Despite Nevada's drop, it remains the state with the highest foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac's January foreclosure data.

Foreclosure Radar attributed Nevada's steep dropoff in sales to tough new state legislation governing the foreclosure process.

A new law that carries the threat of criminal felony penalities on lenders went into effect in October.

“Passing laws to essentially eliminate foreclosures, as they appear to have accomplished in Nevada, and are now contemplating with similar draconian measures in California, is likely to do more harm then good,” said  Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “The pendulum of regulation is once again swinging too far.”

The report covers foreclosure activity in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.