Foreclosure activity topped 330,000 units in October, a 4% decline from September — but only because of the national robo-signing scandal, according to new figures compiled by RealtyTrac Inc.

The company noted that October marks the 20th consecutive month where more than 300,000 mortgagors received a foreclosure notice. (Foreclosure-related filings include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.)

Compared with October 2009, foreclosure activity was flat in terms of the number of units. "The numbers probably would have been higher except for the fallout from the recent 'robo-signing' controversy," said James Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive.

Even though all foreclosure activity declined slightly on a national level, default notices rose in both Florida and Ohio, two states hit hard by the housing downturn. Comparatively, notices of default fell 9% from the previous month in California. In Nevada and Michigan, notices of default fell 17% and 18%, respectively.

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