Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process in January than in any month in more than three years. The decline comes as many lenders are taking longer to move against homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments.
"In California the trend was slightly different."
RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist says after hitting a 25-month low back in November, California foreclosure activity has increased on a month-over-month basis for two straight months.
"It appears, in California at least, that lenders have started to ramp back up on the foreclosures."
Blomquist says lenders are revisiting thousands of foreclosure cases following documentation problems that surfaced last fall.
Banks took back nearly 16,000 California properties last month, an increase of 32% from December.