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Foreclosures Increase in January, Slowing Long-Term Decline

January marked the 40th consecutive month of foreclosure activity declining year-over-year, but the 18 percent annual decline was the smallest since September 2012. From December to January, foreclosure filings increased 8 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since May 2012.

Foreclosure filings were up 8 percent from December to January on a nationwide basis, despite an 18 percent drop in the number of filings in January 2013, according to a RealtyTrac report. A total of 124,419 foreclosure filings, one in every 1,058 U.S. households, were reported in January.

"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, RealtyTrac vice president. "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 non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases."

The state with the highest foreclosure rate in January was Florida, which increased 19 percent from December but was down 13 percent from a year earlier. A 43 percent January spike in scheduled auctions kept Nevada in second place, and the 19th consecutive year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity placed Maryland third. Illinois and New Jersey were fourth and fifth in the nation for foreclosure filings, and large metropolitan areas with the highest rates of foreclosure included Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore and Riverside-San Bernardino.

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June 16, 2019, 10:41 pm PDT

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