Foreclosure-related filings were up 6 percent in February compared to a year ago, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today — the smallest year-over-year increase in records dating to January 2006.

The 308,524 U.S. properties hit with foreclosure-related filings during the month represented a 2 percent decrease from January, and February was a shorter month by three days.

The leveling of foreclosure-related filings is not necessarily evidence that fewer homeowners are in distress and at risk for foreclosure, RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a press release.

Foreclosure prevention programs, legislation and other processing delays are "in effect capping monthly foreclosure activity" at a historically high level that will likely continue for an extended period, Saccacio said.

Not all properties subjected to foreclosure-related filings will be sold at auction or repossessed by lenders. RealtyTrac tracks default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

Default notices were reported on 106,208 homes in February, down 3 percent from a year ago and 25 percent below an April 2009 peak of 142,000.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 16 percent from a year ago, to 123,633, but down 14 percent from an August 2009 peak of 144,000.

Banks repossessed 78,683 homes in February, up 6 percent from a year ago but down 15 percent from a peak of 92,000 in December 2009.

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate during February, with 1 in 102 homes subjected to a foreclosure-related filing, compared with an average of 1 in 418 homes nationwide. Nevada was followed by Arizona (foreclosure filings on 1 in 163 homes), Florida (1 in 163 homes), California (1 in 195 homes) and Michigan (1 in 226 homes).

In terms of raw numbers, six states accounted for 61 percent of foreclosure-related filings nationwide: California (filings on 68,562 properties), Florida (54,032), Michigan (20,028), Illinois (17,312), Arizona (16,718) and Texas (12,638).

At the metro level, Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate, with 1 in 90 homes subjected to a foreclosure-related filing. A 31 percent increase in foreclosure activity in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area left that market with the second-highest metro foreclosure rate in February, with 1 in every 92 homes subjected to a foreclosure-related filing.

Foreclosure filings were down 18 percent in the Phoenix area, and down 9 percent in Las Vegas.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription