Patrick Osborn

Foreclosure Filings Hit Five-Year Low

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iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(IRVINE, Calif.) — Foreclosure filings have dropped to their lowest level in nearly five years, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

The foreclosure tracking firm says for the first quarter of 2012, the number of U.S. households that received a foreclosure notice fell to 572,928 — a 2 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 16 percent drop from the same time period last year. 

The figure is the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2007, when 527,740 properties were hit with foreclosure filings.

“What’s driving those lower numbers is decreases in activity in some of the hardest-hit states.  California, Arizona and Nevada are the main ones that are driving that trend,” RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist explains.

Last month alone, RealtyTrac says 198,853 homes received a foreclosure notice — the lowest monthly total since July 2007.  That figure was also down 4 percent from February and down 17 percent from March 2011.

So is the foreclosure crisis in the U.S. over?

“No, we’re definitely not out of the woods,” responds Blomquist.  “It’s not over, but I do think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  I mean we’re past the peak in this foreclosure cycle.  The worst of this was 2009 and 2010.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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