Many of the metropolitan areas showing the biggest slowdown in foreclosure activity were in New York and other states with a judicial foreclosure process, said a RealtyTrac report released last week.
In the first half of the year, lenders sent foreclosure-related filings to 21,141 homes in the Long Island and New York City region, or 52.5 percent fewer than a year ago, the report said.
That gave the metro area, which also covers parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the 28th biggest drop out of 211 metro areas, data show.
But that's not exactly great news, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac.
"These dramatic decreases indicate the foreclosure pipeline continues to be clogged in many local markets across the country, sometimes by a glut of already-foreclosed properties that are not selling quickly, sometimes by a mountain of improperly filed foreclosures that are blocking the inflow of new foreclosure filings — and sometimes by both," he said.
Lenders have been sending out fewer foreclosures filings — new cases, auction notices and lender repossessions — since last fall's scandals over certain foreclosure practices.
While lenders have been examining their practices, judges who preside over foreclosure cases have been demanding more proof of debt owed and other details from lenders.
Also, borrowers' attorneys have been using the foreclosure scandals as grounds to challenge lenders in court.
That has stretched the foreclosure timeline, while in states without a judicial process, foreclosing can take just a few months.
Nationwide for the first six months, lenders sent foreclosure filings to almost 1.2 million households, or 29 percent fewer than a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.