New data show more U.S. homes started on the foreclosure path in July, as lenders tackled a backlog of mortgages gone unpaid even as they pulled back on home repossessions.
Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday that the number of homes hit with an initial notice of default rose 6 percent last month compared to July last year.
Filings of initial default notices have increased on an annual basis for three months in a row.
The trend comes as banks work to make up for time lost last year as the mortgage-lending industry grappled with foreclosure abuse allegations.
Even so, banks took back 21 percent fewer homes last month than in July last year.
Repossessions have been down on an annual basis every month going back nearly two years.