Recorded foreclosure notices saw a 3% dip in the last month nationally, but are still up nearly a fifth from year ago levels, according to the latest RealtyTrac monthly report. There were 332,292 notices of default, foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions filed during October.
The figure represents a three month consecutive decline in foreclosure notice filings with one in every 385 U.S. households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. The drop is likely due to bankers holding off on filing notices due to the back-log of defaults, a rise in homeowner loan modifications and lenders foreclosure operations being over-whelmed by the massive volume of foreclosures.
Nevada experienced a 26% decline in foreclosure activity from the previous month, its’ first year over year drop since the foreclosure epidemic exploded. A new foreclosure mediation law implemented during the summer in the state may be slowing the number of foreclosure properties in Nevada. But Las Vegas still held its position as the U.S. foreclosure capital.
California posted the second highest number of state filings for the second consecutive month with 85,420 notices. Notices in the Golden State are 50% above year ago levels.
However, hard hit Florida garnered the third highest rate of notices with one in every 160 housing units receiving a filing. Some 51,911 properties received a filing during October, which represented the first year over year decrease in the state since July, 2006. Nearly one in four homes in Florida is either in default or under foreclosure.
Seven other states, which are Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland and Utah round out the worst 10 states, with California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan accounting for 52% of the nation’s foreclosure notices.
However, Illinois reported a 56% spike in activity for the month with 19,946 notices. It was the only state with a foreclosure rate in the top 10 to post a monthly increase in activity. A newly enacted state law giving distressed homeowners more time to seek foreclosure counseling may have created pent up foreclosure activity.
Michigan recorded the fourth highest state activity total despite a nearly 2% decline from September. Some 16,468 properties received a foreclosure filing, an increase of nearly 45% from a year ago.
Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Nevada (13,842), Arizona (13,345), Georgia (12,468), Texas (11,798), Ohio (11,646) and New Jersey (7,435).