The nation’s total foreclosure filings, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, rose in 25 states last year — 20 of which were judicial states, according to a year-end foreclosure report published Jan. 17 by analytics firm RealtyTrac.
Of the judicial states, New Jersey topped the list with 55 percent more foreclosures in 2012 than in 2011, RealtyTrac reported. Other judicial states that saw a significant upswing in foreclosure activity included Florida (up 53 percent), Connecticut (up 48 percent), Indiana (up 46 percent), Illinois (up 33 percent) and New York (up 31 percent).
Conversely, RealtyTrac reported that 19 non-judicial states saw foreclosures decrease in 2012 compared to 2011. Of those states, Nevada’s foreclosure activity plunged 57 percent, while foreclosures in both Utah and Oregon dropped 40 percent. Other states with significant decreases in foreclosure activity: Arizona (down 33 percent), California (down 25 percent) and Michigan (down 23 percent).
Nationwide, Florida accounted for the biggest share of foreclosure inventory, with 305,766 properties (20 percent of the national total) either bank-owned or in foreclosure at the end of 2012. Statewide, more than 3 percent of Florida’s housing units were part of the foreclosure inventory.
“Although we are comfortably past the peak of the foreclosure problem nationally, 2013 is likely to be book-ended by two discrete jumps in foreclosure activity,” Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a news release. “We expect to see continued increases in judicial foreclosure states near the beginning of the year as lenders finish catching up with the backlogs in those states, and another set of increases in some non-judicial states near the end of the year as lenders adjust to the new laws and process some deferred foreclosures in those states.”
RealtyTrac found that more than 1.5 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure or real estate-owned at the close of 2012. The number is 9 percent higher than at the end of 2011, but still 31 percent below the peak of 2.2 million at the close of 2010.
Read the 2012 Year-End Foreclosure Market Report.