Foreclosure Starts Fall to 6-Year Low

U.S. foreclosure starts have dropped 28 percent from a year ago and are now at their lowest level since December 2006, marking a 71-month low, RealtyTrac reports.

The latest data offers “more evidence that we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem brought about by the housing bubble bursting six years ago,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But foreclosures are continuing to hobble the U.S. housing market as lenders finally seize properties that started the process a year or two ago — and much longer in some cases. We’re likely not completely out of the woods when it comes to foreclosure starts, either, as lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in the National Mortgage Settlement along with various state laws and court rulings.”

According to the latest data from RealtyTrac, foreclosure starts dropped from a year ago in 28 states — most notably in Oregon (which saw an 84 percent drop), Pennsylvania (67 percent), California (63 percent), Arizona (59 percent), and Georgia (51 percent).

Meanwhile, foreclosure starts rose from a year ago in 18 states, including New Jersey (a 538 percent increase), Arkansas (455 percent), New York (209 percent), Washington (97 percent), and Connecticut (95 percent).