Last month, foreclosure activity experienced both the largest month-to-month and year-over-year declines since RealtyTrac began publishing data back in January 2005.
Just 262,339 U.S. properties received foreclosure filings in November, down 21 percent from October and 14 percent below the numbers seen a year ago.
A total of 78,955 U.S. properties received default notices last month (first step in the foreclosure process), a 21 percent decline from the previous month and a 31 percent decrease from November 2009.
It was also the 10th straight annual decline in default notices and the lowest total since July 2007.
Meanwhile, mortgage lenders foreclosed on 67,428 properties in November, down 28 percent from the previous month and 12 percent from November 2009.
Bank repossessions (REOs) fell month-to-month in 37 states and the District of Columbia, with the total the lowest since May 2009.
However, November’s numbers pushed year-to-date REO activity to more than 980,000, already surpassing the record total set in 2009.
It all sounds like relatively good news, but it seems to be more of a delay than anything else.
“While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10 percent that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer at RealtyTrac, in a release.
All this might mean is that 2011 will be worse than expected in terms of foreclosure activity.