LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says increasing home sales may be helping reduce the number of homes in foreclosure by making it easier for owners to refinance.
The latest information from RealtyTrac shows that U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process at a slower pace than a year ago, and fewer properties are being repossessed by lenders.
RealtyTrac says that about 972,000 homes were placed on the path to foreclosure between January and October.
That's down 8 percent from the same period last year.
Banks repossessed about 559,000 homes through the end of last month, a decline of nearly 19 percent from a year earlier.
The firm says that puts lenders on pace to complete 650,000 foreclosures this year, down from 800,000 in 2011.
Foreclosure activity rose on an annual basis last month in several states, including New York, Washington State, and North Carolina.