Foreclosure filings rose 12 percent in February compared to year-ago levels, the latest sign of continued distress in major U.S. housing markets. In spite of the continued elevation in foreclosures, filings dropped 4 percent versus revised January totals, according to a report by foreclosed property marketplace RealtyTrac. A drop in foreclosure activity between January and February is considered normal, HW industry sources said. The report said that a total of 130,786 foreclosures were filed during February, which translated into a rate of 1 foreclosure filing for every 884 U.S. households during the month. “Based on our numbers for the first two months of 2007, foreclosure activity is running at a rate that would project to a 33 percent increase over 2006,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It appears that as subprime and FHA loans default at higher than anticipated rates, and lenders tighten their underwriting standards, we’re going to continue to see a spike in the number of homeowners facing foreclosure.” Nevada, Colorado, Florida post top foreclosure rates Nevada registered the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the second month in a row thanks to a 24 percent increase in foreclosure activity from the previous month. The state reported 3,124 foreclosure filings during the month, up 77 percent from February 2006 and a foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 278 households – more than three times the national average.
A 9 percent month-to-month increase in foreclosure activity gave Colorado one foreclosure filing for every 345 households in February — boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to second highest among the states after ranking fourth highest the previous month. Colorado reported 5,310 total foreclosure filings during the month, the eighth most of any state. Florida foreclosure activity spiked more than 63 percent from the previous month, giving it the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate in February — one foreclosure filing for every 382 households. The state reported 19,144 foreclosure filings during the month, the most of any state. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Arizona and Indiana. Florida, California, Texas tops in total foreclosure activity After Florida, California and Texas were the states with the highest number of total foreclosure filings in February. California’s second-highest total of 16,273 foreclosure filings during the month represented a 4 percent increase from the previous month and 79 percent increase from February 2006. The state’s February foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 751 households was 1.2 times the national average and ranked 13th highest among the states. Texas reported 12,386 foreclosure filings in February, the third highest state total and a monthly foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 650 households — 1.4 times the national average and eighth highest among the states. The state’s foreclosure activity decreased nearly 16 percent from the previous month and was down 9 percent from February 2006. For more information, visit http://www.realtytrac.com.