Two pieces of good news when it comes to homeowners staying in their homes, and one of them also bodes well for the future.

Let’s start with RealtyTrac, which says foreclosure filings (everything from default notices to actual repossessions) are down in a big way: down 23 percent in the first half of 2013 from a year before.

If you just look at June, filings are down 35 percent from the previous year (and 14 percent from the previous month). In fact, June’s filings were at the lowest monthly level since December 2006.

Here’s the chart (click to enbiggenify):

http://www.realtytrac.com/images/reportimages/foreclosure_starts_completions_june_2013.jpg

 

All good news, but can it continue? Data from Lender Processing Services would seem to say yes.

LPS’s figures show that mortgage delinquencies are also down — more than 15 percent since the beginning of the year — which means that future foreclosures should also be lower in the near future.

And there’s an even more forward-looking figure. LPS also reports that the number of underwater homeowners has dropped sharply. In the past year, the number of upside-down mortgages — those with a loan to value of more than 100 percent — is down by almost half from the year before.

Fewer underwater homes means (in theory) fewer delinquencies, and that means fewer foreclosures. All good news.