Foreclosure activity in the United States fell last month to the lowest rate in nearly nine years as banks started the process on fewer homes and scheduled fewer auctions than in the previous month, industry firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.
A total of 101,938 properties across the United States were at some stage of the foreclosure process, which includes foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, the group said.
That drove overall foreclosure activity down 4.3 percent from January and down 9.4 percent from the same time last year. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 48,079 properties in February, down 4.9 percent from last month. That was a 7.3 percent decline from February 2014. A total of 45,880 properties were scheduled for foreclosure auctions last month, a 13.4 percent drop from January, and down 3.9 percent from a year ago.
Bank repossessions however climbed last month as lenders reclaimed 9.2 percent more properties than in January. A total of 24,305 homes were repossessed in February. Still, repossessions were down 19.8 percent from year-ago levels.