In the short-term, things might be looking up in the housing industry with the news that foreclosure activity is actually down for the third month in a row, according to the October 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac.

But that doesn't mean the foreclosure tide is turning, an executive from the company said. "The fundamental forces driving foreclosure activity in this housing downturn — high-risk mortgages, negative equity, and unemployment — continue to loom over any nascent recovery," said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio.

Default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 332,292 properties in October, down 3% from September but still up nearly 19% from a year ago.

Despite a 26% decrease in foreclosure activity from September, Nevada continued to document the nation's highest state foreclosure rate. A total of 13,842 properties received a filing during the month, a 4% decrease from October 2008.

Nevada default notices were down 10% from a year ago, and scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 6%. REO was up 8% from October 2008. A total of 85,420 California properties received a foreclosure notice, 1% less than September but still nearly 50% above October 2008.

Default notices and scheduled foreclosure auctions in California increased 120% and 73% from October 2008, when California foreclosure activity was in the midst of a three-month trough after a law (SB 1137) requiring lenders to give distressed homeowners extra notification before initiating foreclosure took effect in September 2008.

Florida was third with total of 51,911 Florida properties receiving a filing, down 6% from September and 4% from a year ago. It was the first year-over-year decrease in overall Florida foreclosure activity since July 2006.

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