Foreclosure filings in the U.S. fell 34 percent last month from a year earlier as lenders already swamped with seized homes delayed action on thousands of additional delinquent mortgages, RealtyTrac Inc. said.
A total of 219,258 properties received default, auction or repossession notices in April, the fewest in 40 months, the Irvine, California-based data seller said today in a statement. It was the seventh straight month that filings dropped from a year earlier. They were down 9 percent from March. One in 593 U.S. households got a notice.
“Banks already sitting on thousands of properties they can’t sell as quickly and profitably as they’d like aren’t going to be anxious to accelerate foreclosures on tens of thousands more,” Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president, said in an e-mail.
The U.S. housing market faces “enormous challenges,”Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the largest U.S. bank, told shareholders yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Three-fourths of U.S. cities had declines in home prices in the first quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors. Distressed properties, which include foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 40 percent of transactions in March, the group said.