Foreclosure filings at 3-year low

RealtyTrac data shows 'robo signing' fallout in some states

Continued fallout from the "robo signing" controversy saw loan servicers throttle back foreclosure filings during the first quarter to their lowest level in two years, according to public records gathered by data aggregator RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac counted 681,153 foreclosure-related filings against U.S. properties during the first three months of the year, down 15 percent from fourth-quarter 2010 and down 27 percent from first-quarter 2010.

Housing markets face a dual threat: looming shadow inventory and the probability that foreclosure filings will pick up as loan servicers put the robo-signing controversy behind them, said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a statement.

Federal regulators on Wednesday announced a partial settlement with the nation’s largest loan servicers that requires them to hire outside consultants to review foreclosures initiated in 2009 and 2010 and compensate homeowners who should not have been foreclosed on.