Editor's Note: This item is republished with permission from Inman News. View original article: Foreclosure starts fall, but pipeline full.

Foreclosure starts dipped below the 200,000 mark during April for the first time in years, but the foreclosure pipeline remained bloated by more than 4 million homes whose owners are in foreclosure or delinquent by 90 days or more.

That's according to the latest numbers from loan data aggregator Lender Processing Services, which show foreclosure starts fell nearly 31% from March to April, totaling 187,423 -- a 14.7% decline from a year ago.

LPS estimated that 2.18 million mortgages were in foreclosure, down nearly 2 percent from a record 2.22 million in March but up 9.5% from a year ago.

Another 1.96 million mortgages were delinquent by 90 days or more in April, down about 1.5% from the previous month and 29% from a year ago.

All told, LPS tallied 4.14 million loans in foreclosure or delinquent by 90 days or more at the end of April.

Those numbers are in line with the Mortgage Bankers Association's most recent National Delinquency Survey, which suggested about 4 million residential mortgages were in foreclosure (2.24 million) or delinquent by more than 90 days (1.78 million) at the end of the first quarter.

LPS data showed a 7.5% month-over-month bump in the number of homeowners behind on their mortgages by just one payment, to 1.63 million, to roughly the same level seen a year ago.

While LPS estimates 60-day delinquencies grew by 1.2 percent from March, to 615,608, that's down 14% from a year ago.

The total number of noncurrent loans stood at 6.39 million loans, up less than 1% from March and down nearly 11% from a year ago.

LPS estimates that the number of noncurrent loans has fallen 21.2% from a peak of 8.12 million in January 2010, when the number of homes in foreclosure or delinquent by 90 days or more totaled 5.17 million.

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