Foreclosure filings in U.S. plunge to lowest in four years

However, it’s probably not why you think (wish) it dropped.

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) — U.S. foreclosure filings dropped 35 percent last month to the lowest level in almost four years as lenders and state and federal agencies increased efforts to keep delinquent borrowers in their homes, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

A total of 212,764 properties received default, auction or repossession notices, the fewest in 44 months, the Irvine, California-based data seller said today. Filings fell on a year- over-year basis for the 10th straight month, and were down 4 percent from June. One in 611 households got a notice.

“The downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken on a life of its own,” RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond.”

The decline in foreclosure notices began last year when attorneys general across the country began probing a practice known as “robo-signing,” in which lenders and servicers pushed through default documents without verifying their accuracy. Now federal and state officials are also contributing to the slowdown with payment assistance and loan modifications, RealtyTrac said.

You can read the full Washington Post story here.

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