Year-over-year foreclosure activity default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in California continued to plunge dramatically in March, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac's monthly foreclosure market report said foreclosure filings were reported on 18,489 California properties last month, a slight increase from 18,003 in February but a decline of nearly 60 percent from 45,122 in March 2012.
Year-over-year declines topped 60 percent in both January and February.
While citing improving conditions in California's market, RealtyTrac again tied the steep reductions to the "homeowner bill of rights," the state legislative package that took effect Jan. 1.
That package codifies some changes agreed to in last year's $25 billion national mortgage settlement, negotiated between federal and state attorneys general and five major lenders, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The changes apply to all lenders in California, and extend protections beyond the settlement's 2015 end date.
Nationally, RealtyTrac said foreclosure filings were reported on 152,500 U.S. properties in March, a decrease of about 1 percent from 154,281 in February, but down 23 percent from March 2012.
The number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell to the lowest level in more than five years, according to RealtyTrac.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.