LOS ANGELES — Fewer Americans had their homes repossessed by banks or were put on notice for being behind on their mortgage payments in April compared to a year ago.
The decline had less to do with any turnaround in the housing market than with foreclosure processing delays that appear to be getting worse. That is threatening to drag out a housing recovery, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Wednesday.
“It’s going to take between three to four years just to get those loans into foreclosure at our current pace,” said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac, a California real-estate tracking firm. Banks repossessed 69,532 homes last month, down 5 percent from March and down 25 percent compared with April, 2010, according to RealtyTrac.
In Ohio, RealtyTrac said there were 7,962 properties in the foreclosure process in April, down 13 percent from March and 33 percent from a year ago. In Michigan, there were 12,996 properties in foreclosure last month, down 11 percent from March and 32 percent from a year ago.