RealtyTrac, a firm specializing in foreclosed and economically distressed homes, reported that the number of properties in some part of the foreclosure process nationwide dropped by 21% in November.

“Foreclosure activity decreased dramatically in November, with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving a foreclosure notice for the first time since February 2009,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio.

“While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10 percent that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork.”

Both the 21% month-over-month decrease and 14% year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity were the highest drops recorded since RealtyTrac began publishing the U.S. Foreclosure Report in January 2005, the firm said.

The month also saw Utah rise in the ranks of the nation’s foreclosures, the firm said.

“Thanks in part to sharp monthly drops in foreclosure activity in Arizona, Florida, California and Michigan, Utah’s foreclosure rate leapfrogged to second highest among the states in November after being sixth highest the previous month,” the firm reported. One in every 221 Utah housing units received a foreclosure notice during the month–more than twice the national average, RealtyTrac added.