It’s taken nine years, but the number of U.S. homes in foreclosure has fallen to a level not seen since before the 2008 housing crisis.
More troubled borrowers are making their way through the foreclosure process, which can take more than five years on average in some states. The number of properties in active foreclosure declined by 24,000 to 631,000 in March, according to Black Knight Financial Services. That’s the lowest since October 2007. Neighborhoods across the country were in the coming years flooded with more than 2 million notices from banks.
The wave of foreclosures crested in 2010 when banks seized a record 1.2 million properties and served even more with notices of default, auction or repossession. People suffering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression just “mailed their keys to the banks and just said ‘take it’,” said Ben Graboske, a chief technology officer at Black Knight.