RealtyTrac, a leading source of data about U.S. real estate foreclosures, has reported the numbers of properties in some stage of foreclosure dropped significantly in February, but not because the foreclosure problem is lessening.
The data and foreclosure marketplace reported that 225,101 properties in the U.S. received a default notice or were scheduled for an auction or were repossessed by a lender in February, a 14% drop from January and a 27% drop from February 2010.
But the firm attributed the drop to ongoing problems processing foreclosures more than to any overall uptick in the economy.
"Foreclosure activity dropped to a 36-month low in February as allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets," said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. "While a small part of February’s decrease can be attributed to it being a short month and bad weather, the bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures. We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but that will likely take several months. And monthly volume may never return to its peak in March 2010 of more than 367,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings," he said.
The firm also reported that Nevada, Arizona and California remained as the foreclosure leaders.
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 50th straight month in February–one in every 119 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month–despite a 22% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, the firm reported.