The number of homes entering the foreclosure process in November was at its lowest level since December 2006, according to data released on Thursday by RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure starts fell by 13% last month, compared with October. Starts were down 28%, compared with a year ago.
Overall foreclosure activity dropped 3% last month, compared with October. Activity, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, was also down 19% compared with November 2011.
“The drop in overall foreclosure activity in November was caused largely by a 71-month low in foreclosure starts for the month, more evidence that we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem brought about by the housing bubble bursting six years ago,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a news release.
But, he added, lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules resulting from the National Mortgage Settlement as well as state laws and court rulings — which indicate that “we’re likely not completely out of the woods when it comes to foreclosure starts.”
Bank repossessions increased 11% over the month, and were up 5% compared with a year ago. They’re now at a nine-month high.
Despite the decrease in foreclosure filings nationally, activity increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, nine states, including Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and South Carolina, had 12-month highs in foreclosure activity in November.