LOS ANGELES (AP) - The number of U.S. homes that got started on the path to foreclosure fell last year to a low not seen since before the high-flying days of the housing boom.
Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says the number of homes that entered the foreclosure process last year declined 33 percent from a year earlier to 747,728.
That's the lowest annual level since 2006, before the housing bubble burst.
Lenders also took back the fewest number of homes last year since 2007.
All told, banks repossessed 462,970 U.S. homes last year, a decline of 31 percent from 2012.
While foreclosures remain nigh in states such as Florida, New York and California, they've been steadily declining as the U.S. housing market and economy continues to rebound.