Foreclosure activity in Minnesota and most states across the U.S. fell slightly last month, a sign that an improvements in the economy and a stabilizing housing market are starting to ease stresses on homeowners. Across the country, foreclosure filings, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, fell three percent from October and 19 percent from last year. That was the 26th consecutive month of annual declines.

At the same, bank reposessions increased in Minnesota and across the country as lenders worked through their back-log of properties that have already been through the process.

In Minnesota, early-stage foreclosure activity was down only slightly compared with last year, falling almost 2 percent. Compared with October, however, those early notices rose more than 20 percent. RealtyTrac’s vice president, Daren Blomquist, told JustListed that what’s happening in Minnesota isn’t alarming, nor was it unique. Several states showed a double-digit increase compared with last year, a phenomenon that’s largely a reflection of differences in the way foreclosures are processed and volatility in the data. 

What’s more important to note, he said, is that the foreclosure rate in Minnesota is lower than the national average. Nationwide, one in every 728 housing units received a notice compared with one in 918 housing units in Minnesota. And, he said, foreclosure discounts in Minnesota are much smaller than the national average, signaling strong demand and a sense of confidence that doesn't exist in all states.

You can see the full report here, and stay tuned for a complete story in the Friday paper.

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