Year-over-year foreclosure activity default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions continued a downward trend in California, with another double-digit decline in March, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.
RealtyTracs monthly market report said foreclosure filings were reported on 14,484 California properties last month, down 21.6 percent from 18,489 in March 2013.
However, California was among 19 states that saw a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts for the first quarter. Between January and March, the states 20,228 foreclosure starts - the initial public notice starting the foreclosure process - were up 10 percent over the first three months of 2013, the first annual increase in the Golden State since the second quarter of 2012.
Now that the foreclosure deluge has dried up, banks are turning their attention back to properties that have been sitting in foreclosure limbo for some time, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. This is most evident in judicial foreclosure states that were more likely to have impediments in the foreclosure process, but there are also signs of this catch-up trend happening in some non-judicial states like California.
Overall, RealtyTrac said foreclosure filings nationwide in March totaled 117,485, down nearly 23 percent from 152,500 in March a year ago.
March marked the 42nd consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity decreased year-over-year, helping to drop first quarter foreclosure activity to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007. Overall, 341,670 U.S. properties had a foreclosure notice in this years first quarter, down 23 percent from a year ago.
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