A total of 1,045,801 U.S. properties – one in 126 – had foreclosure filings in the first half of this year, a 2% increase from the previous six months but down 11% from the first half of 2011, according to new data from Irvine, Calf.-based RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac reports that first-half foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in 20 states, most notably Indiana (32%), Pennsylvania (24%), South Carolina (23%), Connecticut (23%), Florida (23%) and Illinois (22%). Despite a 61% year-over-year drop in foreclosure activity, Nevada posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate in the first half of the year, with 1.76% of all housing units – one in 57 – with a foreclosure filing.
For the second quarter of this year, RealtyTrac says 311,010 properties started the foreclosure process, a 9% increase from the previous quarter and a 6% increase from the second quarter of 2011 – the first year-over-year increase in quarterly foreclosure starts since the fourth quarter of 2009.
‘Additional scrutiny on how lenders and servicers process foreclosures, along with aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts by the federal government and several state governments, continue to keep a lid on the foreclosure problem at a national level,’ says Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. ‘Still, foreclosure starts began boiling over in more markets in the first half of the year, particularly in the second quarter, when rising foreclosure starts spread from primarily judicial foreclosure states in the first quarter to more than half of all nonjudicial foreclosure states in the second quarter.’