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Foreclosure Filings Fall in May by 5%

Foreclosure filings were reported on roughly 110,000 U.S. properties in May, a 5 percent decrease from April, according to RealtyTrac's latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, were down 26 percent year-over-year in May to the lowest level since December 2006.

The report found that one in every 1,199 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

However, individual states saw monthly increases despite the overall national decline. Statewide, 21 states posted monthly increases in overall activity, with 11 states posting annual increases in foreclosure activity.

"It's not surprising that some of the states with the longest foreclosure timelines are those with markets still dealing with increasing foreclosure activity even as the country as a whole continues to hit new lows," said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac. "On the other hand, the increase in bank repossessions in some states with shorter foreclosure timelines like California and Oregon demonstrates there is still some pent-up foreclosure activity in those states as well."

Bank repossessions also fell in May, hitting the lowest level seen since July 2007—an 82-month low. Lenders repossessed 28,373 U.S. properties in May, down 6 percent month-over-month and down 27 percent yearly.

REO's increased from the previous month in 25 states, including New York (117 percent), New Jersey (96 percent), Connecticut (85 percent), Maryland (40 percent), and Oregon (29 percent).

Auctions fell as well, with RealtyTrac reporting that foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 47,085 U.S. properties in May, down 4 percent from April and down 22 percent from May 2013. Foreclosure auctions were at their lowest level since December 2006—an 89-month low.

Auctions had a similar trend as REO properties, increasing from the previous month in 27 states. Auctions saw the largest gains in Utah (199 percent), Oregon (157 percent), New Jersey (70 percent), and Massachusetts (43 percent).

Foreclosure starts declined in May as well, down 10 percent from the previous month and down 32 percent year-over-year to the lowest level since December 2005—a 101-month low. Foreclosure starts increased in 17 states, including Massachusetts (178 percent), Indiana (67 percent), Delaware (26 percent), New Jersey (15 percent), and New York (14 percent).

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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