The 35% increase of Texas foreclosures in February was the highest monthly gain of any state in the country, according to data from ForeclosureListings.com, an online foreclosure marketplace. Michigan had the second highest increase at 17.5%, followed by California at 11.9% and Florida at 4.7%. Georgia and Arkansas have seen foreclosures drop by 5.5% and 28.6% respectively. One in every 418 homes received a foreclosure filing, reaching more than 300,000 for the 12th straight month, according to ForeclosureListings.com. “Several states are creating emergency funds to help the temporarily unemployed from being foreclosed upon. But the numbers continue to paint a bleak picture,” according to the report. Select state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) are drafting proposals to use the $1.5bn from the HFA Hardest-Hit Fund to prevent foreclosures and stabilize local housing markets. HFAs in California, Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Nevada can submit proposals for programs that will target unemployed or underwater borrowers and second-lien relief. Las Vegas led all cities with the most foreclosures in February with more than 3,100 filings, a 29% increase from January. Lon DeWeese, chief financial officer of the Nevada Housing Division told HousingWire that a strategy is being clarified through a series of public hearings to use the government funds. They are currently developing programs focused on home retention for unemployed, underemployed, and borrowers who cannot reconfigure current first mortgages due to a second-lien debt load. Denver had the second highest foreclosure gains among cities with more than 2,000 filings in February, despite the 5% drop from the month before. The 34% increase in Phoenix pushed that city to the third spot with more than 1,600 filings. Write to Jon Prior.

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