Foreclosure starts fall to six-year low in January

RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January shows foreclosure filings at 150,864 for January, down 7% from the prior month and down 28% from January 2012. 

The rate is at its lowest point since June 2006.

The slowdown comes as a California law called the Homeowners Bill of Rights kicks in. According to Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac, the legislation “extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement -- including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure -- to all mortgage servicers operating in California. In addition, the new law imposes fines of up to $7,500 per loan for filing of multiple unverified foreclosure documents. As a result, the downward foreclosure trend in California accelerated into hyper speed in January, decisively shifting the balance of power when it comes to the nation’s foreclosure activity.” 

On the other side of the country, Florida posted the highest state foreclosure rate for the fifth straight month. Florida foreclosure starts increased 12% to 29,800 in January. 

The full report can be seen here