Home foreclosures continue to drop in Kansas, Missouri

Home foreclosures in Kansas and Missouri declined sharply in April, as the housing market continues to show steady improvement.

April foreclosure activity — default notices, auctions and bank repossessions — fell 36 percent in Kansas from the same month in 2012, according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based research firm.

There were 538 actions against Kansas homeowners last month, or one in every 2,284 housing units, RealtyTrac said. Overall, Kansas ranked 40th among all states.

Missouri reported 1,574 properties facing foreclosure action last month, down 37 percent from the same month last year, RealtyTrac said. That amounted to one action for every 1,717 housing units in the state, which was ranked 31st.

Nevada reported the highest foreclosure rate in the nation last month, followed by Florida and Ohio.

Nationwide, foreclosure filings fell 23 percent from April 2012, RealtyTrac said. “The April numbers indicate that the pig is moving through the python when it comes to deferred foreclosures” in states with legislation designed to prevent improper foreclosures, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

The company also noted that about 70,000 properties nationwide started the foreclosure process in April, down 4 percent from March and down 28 percent from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, a report Wednesday said more homeowners are staying on top of their mortgage payments thanks to the resurgent housing market, rising home values and steady job gains. The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell by 21 percent in the first three months of this year versus the same period in 2012, credit reporting agency TransUnion said.

The sharp annual decline in the mortgage delinquency rate represents the biggest quarterly drop on record for TransUnion, whose data go back to 1992.