Weak demand, declining home prices and the lack of credit availability kept the nation's housing market weak in the first three months of this year, but overall foreclosure activity fell to a three-year low.
The latest snapshot from foreclosure research firm Realtytrac shows foreclosure filings fell 15 percent over the last quarter of 2010, and foreclosure activity in the first quarter was down 27 percent over the same period last year.
Analysts say the drop stems partly from continuing foreclosure documentation problems that came to light last fall.
In Minnesota, total foreclosure filings fell 18 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year.
Daren Blomquist from Realtytrac said the nation's housing market remains weak.
"There is weak buyer demand, basically," Blomquist said. "We usually over the last few years have seen about 50 percent of those initial foreclosure notices end up being foreclosed on."
Blomquist said we're in a market where if someone does get into trouble in their home there are fewer options for them to find their way out of that situation.
Nationwide, one in every 191 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
Federal regulators have ordered the nation's biggest banks to overhaul their procedures and compensate borrowers injured financially by wrongdoing or negligence. This action is separate from an investigation of state attorneys general and other federal agencies.