Foreclosure activity increased in January, and posted the smallest annual decline in over a year, showing that, despite overall national improvement, many states still struggle with large quantities of distressed properties, RealtyTrac reported.

The number of foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — rose 8 percent month over month in January, according to RealtyTrac’s latest U.S. Foreclosure Marketplace Report. On an annual basis, they were down 18 percent, the smallest yearly decline since September 2012.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

He added: “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some nonjudicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.”

Source: RealtyTrac

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