Despite predictions that the National Mortgage Settlement might cause a surge in foreclosure activity nationwide, an October report by RealtyTrac indicates that filings took a significant drop in recent months, and that September’s nationwide totals were the lowest since July 2007. The report, issued for the third quarter of 2012, indicates that the number of default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions reported in September dropped seven percent from the month prior, and experienced a16 percent drop from September 2011. While the impact of questionable foreclosure practices is still being felt acutely in some of the more severely hit states, including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, and New York, the nationwide foreclosure landscape is showing slow and steady improvement. States like Nevada, Oregon, and California, which have all enacted new legislation regulating lender activity, all saw decreases in third quarter foreclosure activity. “A backlog of delayed foreclosures will likely build up in those states as lenders adjust to the new rules, with many of those delayed foreclosures eventually hitting down the road,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice President at RealtyTrac. As foreclosure activity continues to level off, Notaries continue to play a crucial role in preventing fraud by maintaining their Notary journals, as they can provide valuable evidence in cases involving identity fraud.