Published: May 17, 2012 1:56 PM EDT
Updated: May 17, 2012 3:31 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - New foreclosure data shows the number of U.S. homes seized by banks declined last month. Overall, national foreclosure trends took a positive turn in April, this is the third consecutive monthly decline. Realtytrac Inc. says home repossessions fell seven percent from March and dropped 26 percent from April of last year.

The number of homes that lenders placed on the foreclosure path fell four percent from March and dipped two percent from April 2011. While the figures suggest foreclosure trends are improving nationally, state data tell a different story. Florida still leads in the most home repossessions because courts are required to sign off on foreclosures. Pending foreclosure cases now have lenders playing catch-up. Foreclosed properties are on the books total 875 in Lee, 333 in Collier and 368 in Charlotte.

For the entire state there are 198,863 foreclosure homes. And $111,000 is the average foreclosure sales price. Meanwhile, banks are increasingly agreeing to short sales rather than foreclosing on homes. In a short sale the bank agrees to accept less than what the seller owes on their mortgage. This could help slow the pace of home repossessions, which are on pace to be just over 700-thousand this year. Last year, banks ended up foreclosing on about one million homes. 188,000 U.S. properties were foreclosed last month. That's the lowest monthly total since July of 2007.