Report: February Home Foreclosures Down From Last Year

Foreclosure filing statistics for February point to a 2% increase from the prior month's figures, but a 25% decrease compared to February 2012, according to a report released this week by online real estate data firm RealtyTrac. The report's foreclosure filings include all bank repossessions, scheduled auctions, and default notices.

Though the positive year-over-year foreclosure trend bodes well for homeowners nationally, according to RealtyTrac Vice President Dan Blomquist, "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."

Nevada, Maryland, and Washington state have been particularly hard hit, seeing foreclosure rates jump 334%, 319%, and 172%, respectively, compared to the year-ago period. For the sixth straight month, Florida had the country's highest foreclosure rate in February, RealtyTrac reported, with one in every 282 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month, more than three times the national average.

However, even with negative foreclosure trends in some states, Blomquist believes the data show that "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."

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