NEW YORK Aug 11 The number of U.S. homes that
received foreclosures filings fell to a near four year low in
July, a survey said on Thursday.
Notice of default, auction sale or bank repossession were
sent to 212,764 properties in July, the lowest number since
November 2007, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said.
That represents a 4 percent decrease over June and a 35
percent decrease over last year.
"The downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken
on a life of its own," James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, said
in a statement. The robo-signing controversy last year, which
forced banks to slow the pace of foreclosures, plus government
programs to help struggling homeowners stave off repossession
may explain the drop, he said.
One in every 611 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing
Default notices were down 58 percent from their peak in
April 2009, while bank repossesions saw a 34 percent decline
from their September 2010 high.
Nevada posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the
55th straight month, with one in every 115 houses receiving a
foreclosure filing. California and Arizona also posted high
rates of foreclosure.
"Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on
a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term
interventions and delays that will extend the current housing
market woes into 2012 and beyond," said Saccacio, who noted
that only vigorous economic growth and a strong job market
would buoy a housing recovery.
The U.S. housing market crash three years ago wiped out
trillions of dollars in home equity, and low demand caused by
the U.S. recession plus the slow pace of foreclosures has kept
the glut of unsold homes from playing out.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)