Foreclosure Rates Plummet as Red Tape Mounts

foreclosures
foreclosures

LOS ANGELES -- Most of the nation's largest metropolitan areas are seeing a sharp drop in foreclosure activity as banks take longer to move against homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments.

In the first half of this year, 84 percent of metropolitan areas with a population of at least 200,000 saw their foreclosure rate drop versus the same period last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions -- warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.