Foreclosures are dropping nationwide, but some states are still struggling with elevated levels of distressed homes.
For the sixth month in a row, Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation; in February, it showed more than triple the national average. Florida’s foreclosure filings are up 20 percent in February from year-ago levels and are at a 16-month high, RealtyTrac reports in its latest foreclosure report.
“At a high level the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system. Foreclosure starts have been steadily building in those states over the last several months and likely will end up as bank repossessions or short sales later this year.”
Blomquist notes that these new foreclosure hot-spots include states like Washington, in which for the last seven consecutive months rising foreclosure activity placed the state fifth on the list among highest foreclosure rates nationwide — its first time. Maryland was also a new addition to the top 10 list for highest foreclosure rates.
The following are the 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates in the country, as of February:
Foreclosures are falling in California, dropping it out of the top 10 states for highest foreclosure rates in the nation for the first month since December 2006.