When it comes to foreclosure-related numbers, it’s sometimes hard to properly assess what they mean.

Take the data released last week by RealtyTrac — a national real estate information company — regarding foreclosure activity across the United States last month.

It seems positive, but, well, it also seems a bit alarming.

Ultimately, it seems … mixed?

A RealtyTrac executive commenting on the May numbers says that they reflect “a classic good news-bad news scenario.”

Many of our readers in Arkansas and elsewhere will certainly have some interest in what that facially cryptic remark means.

What the RealtyTrac official is centrally noting is that the number of foreclosure starts across the nation is beginning to stabilize at a level that marked the years before the so-called Great Recession. Nonetheless, and on the other hand, he additionally points out that homeowners now mired in the foreclosure process are “still well above pre-crisis levels and on the rise.”

If you’ve just been spent a few moments carefully scrutinizing that immediately preceding paragraph — and perhaps rereading it — you certainly understand why RealtyTrac’s comments seem a bit ambiguous.

A bottom-line finding that does emerge with clarity in the report is that, notwithstanding generally good news that is being reported on the economy from many quarters these days, foreclosure-related data continues to have a negative tinge. RealtyTrac points out in its market report that foreclosure filings across the country ticked up one percent in May from April and a sizable 16 percent from one year ago.

Some industry observers believe that, because the uptick mostly reflects bank actions geared toward finally resolving issues with properties that RealtyTrac says “have been languishing in foreclosure limbo for years,’ the increased activity is not necessarily a bad thing. With that inventory cleared out, the overall market benefits.

In the interim, though, high numbers of people continue to face foreclosure challenges. Arkansas residents needing guidance and legal assistance in a foreclosure-related matter can obtain candid answers and knowledgeable representation from a proven Little Rock-based debt-relief attorney.