Notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, slid 18.2 percent in April from the record high set a month earlier, according to Foreclosure Radar.
Last month, 42,675 NODs were filed, a 1.1 percent decline from April 2008, the previous high before March set a new record for such filings.
Notices of Trustee sales, which set the auction date and time, also declined by 8.5 percent to 29,552 filings in April, and were 0.8 percent lower than a year ago.
Meanwhile, sales taken to auction rose 35 percent and a record number of distressed properties were purchased by third parties.
A total of 13,550 properties representing $6 billion in loan value were up for bid during the month, but mortgage lenders took back 11,916 foreclosures for which no third party bid was received.
The number of foreclosed properties sold to third parties increased to 1,634 last month, a 52.3 percent increase over March and 217.9 percent above last April.
Third party buyers enjoyed an average discount of 28 percent from estimated market values, though costs tied to evicting tenants, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining the properties takes a bite out of the margin.
Potential losses by junior loan lenders exceeded $623 million across 6,911 second mortgages extinguished via the foreclosure process.