Foreclosure Activity Posts Monthly Decrease, Rises Annually

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif, said properties with foreclosure filings fell by 3 percent in February from January but rose by 18 percent from a year ago.

The company’s monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, showed 30,528 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in February. Meanwhile, lenders repossessed 3,831 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures in February, dipping 2 percent from last month but increasing 45 percent from last year.

“Foreclosure activity finally started to stabilize in February after 21 straight months of increases,” said Rob Barber, CEO of ATTOM. “The numbers don’t yet show a clear trend toward fewer foreclosures, partly because February is a short month. But with historically high levels of home equity flowing from a decade of rising values, we may be seeing a growing number of delinquent mortgage payers with at least the option to sell before facing foreclosure.”

Nationwide, one in every 4,574 housing units had a foreclosure filing in February. States with the highest foreclosure rates were New Jersey (one in every 2,271 housing units); Maryland (one in every 2,390 housing units); Illinois (one in every 2,443 housing units); Nevada (one in every 2,854 housing units); and Indiana (one in every 2,956 housing units).

Among the 223 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in February were Fayetteville, N.C. (one in every 1,627 housing units); Atlantic City, N.J. (one in every 1,708 housing units); Florence, S.C. (one in every 1,833 housing units); Jacksonville, N.C. (one in every 1,934 housing units); and Cleveland (one in every 2,049 housing units).