Home Foreclosures Rise 7 Percent in October

Foreclosures ticked up 7 percent in October from the prior month, RealtyTrac reported today, while defaults in California, Florida and Michigan hit 12-month highs.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 230,678 U.S. properties in October, with one in every 563 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. The foreclosure rate did drop, though, nearly 31 percent from October 2010.

“The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we’ve been in for the past year as lenders corrected foreclosure paperwork and processing problems,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “However, recent state court rulings and new state laws keep changing the rules of the foreclosure game on the fly, creating more uncertainty in the housing market and threatening to prolong the road to a robust real estate recovery.”

Lenders repossessed 67,624 U.S. properties in October, up 4 percent from the previous month.  Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the  58th straight month, the firm reported, at more than three times the national average. The filings were down from September after a new law that requires foreclosing lenders to file more paperwork on the process in public records.

In California, which has the nation’s No. 2 highest foreclosure rate, default notices spiked 17 percent to a 13-month high. Some 29,240 default notices were reported in California in October, a 1 percent increase from October 2010 and the first year-over-year increase in defaults in California since November 2009.

“The top five states in terms of foreclosure rate in October – Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and Michigan – accounted for 53 percent of the national total for the month,” RealtyTrac reported. “Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Georgia, Illinois, Idaho, Oregon and Colorado.”

Stockton, Calif., had the most filings, while Las Vegas dropped from No. 1 to No. 5.