LOS ANGELES (AP) — New data show that lenders took possession of fewer U.S. homes in 2012 than a year earlier, as foreclosure activity declined in about half the states.
Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday that banks repossessed about 671,000 homes last year. That's down nearly 17 percent from around 804,000 the year before.
The trend suggests that the country's foreclosure woes are easing on a national level.
Not so at the state level, however.
The firm says foreclosure activity rose last year in 25 states, most of which have a slower foreclosure process. Foreclosure activity declined in the rest of the states, where foreclosures are more streamlined.
RealtyTrac bases foreclosure activity on the number of homes that receive at least one foreclosure-related filing.
U.S. foreclosure activity fell 3 percent last year.