Foreclosures hit six-year low in 2013

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By Les Christie  @CNNMoney January 16, 2014: 1:16 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Last year was a banner year in the fight against foreclosures, with filings hitting their lowest level since 2007.

Total foreclosure filings for 2013, including notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were reported on 1.36 million properties, down 26% from 2012, according to RealtyTrac.

With one in every 96 homes reporting at least one foreclosure filing in 2013, the national foreclosure rate has dropped to 1.04% — close to the historic norm of just below 1%. During the 2010 peak of the housing crisis, the national foreclosure rate was 2.23%.

Despite the improving market, the foreclosure threat continues to hang over the heads of many homeowners. In December, 9.3 million properties, or 19% of all homes, were reported to be “deeply underwater,” meaning borrowers owed at least 25% more on their mortgage than the homes was worth.

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