The wave of foreclosures hitting the nation's housing market has been much less severe than anticipated, with foreclosure filings at their lowest level in five years last month, according to a report out Thursday.
Foreclosure filings -- including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 180,427 properties in September, a 7% decline from August and down more than 16% from a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. That's the lowest number of filings since September 2007.
Part of the reason for the overall improvement is that the government's and the banks' efforts to prevent homeowners from falling into foreclosure have taken hold. The government sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program has helped more than a million borrowers obtain more affordable mortgages.
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