U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders.
It was the second-consecutive monthly decline in filings, although there remains a sharp divergence along state lines, according to a report Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.
On a national level, overall foreclosure filings last month – including home repossessions – fell 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September 2011. There were 180,427 foreclosure filings reported for September, the fewest since July 2007 in the midst the housing market bust. The number of homes entering the foreclosure process, so-called foreclosure starts, fell to 87,066 in September, down 12 percent from August and 15 percent from a year earlier. It was the second-straight month of declines following three months of increases, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac reported. Foreclosure starts since peaked in April 2009 at around 203,000. But the level is still above the 34,000 starts recorded in May 2005 before the housing crash.