The rates of foreclosures in the country dropped in April for the first time since before the current economic downturn began, according to Realty Trac, a firm that bills itself as the "leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties."
Realty Trac publishes the U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which tracks foreclosure filings and statistics. In April the firm found that foreclosure filings, that include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were reported on 333,837 properties in April, a 9% decrease from the previous month and a 2%decrease from April 2009. One in every 387 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month, the firm reported.
"There were two important milestones in the April numbers that show foreclosure activity has begun to plateau-but at a very high level that will not drop off in the near future," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "April was the first month in the history of our report with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity. Secondly, bank repossessions, or REOs, hit a record monthly high for the report even while default notices dropped substantially on a monthly and annual basis. We expect a similar pattern to continue for most of this year, with the overall numbers staying at a high level and ripples of activity hitting the various stages of the foreclosure process as lenders systematically work through the backlog of distressed properties," he added.