IRVINE, Calif., March 14 (UPI) -- Bank repossessions of property fell 11 percent January to February to a 65-month low, online marketplace RealtyTrac said Thursday.
Bank repossessions were down 29 percent from February 2012, posting the lowest number of repossessions since September 2007, the firm said.
Foreclosure starts, however, rose 10 percent from January after three months of declines.
From a year ago, foreclosure starts have dropped 25 percent, RealtyTrac said in a monthly report on delinquent and defaulting property loans.
"At a high level the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years. But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, in a statement.
In Washington state, for example, foreclosure activity has risen for seven consecutive months, "pushing the state's foreclosure rate to fifth highest nationwide," the monthly report said.
In Maryland, the foreclosure rate has risen for eight consecutive months, pushing that state into the top 10 highest nationally for the first time since July 2010.
Nationwide, one of every 849 housing units included either delinquent or defaulted loans, resulting in default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions in the month.