Foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 193,508 properties in August, a jump of 1% from July but down 15% from August 2011, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

The U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August shows one in every 681 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

"Bucking the national trend, deferred foreclosure activity boiled over in several states in August," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "In judicial states such as Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, this was a continuation of a trend we've been seeing for several months now. The increases in Florida and Illinois pushed foreclosure rates in those states to the two highest in the country - supplanting the non-judicial states of Arizona, California, Georgia and Nevada. Before August, the nation's top two state foreclosure rates have been from those four non-judicial states every month since December 2010.

"Meanwhile foreclosure activity in most non-judicial states stayed on a downward trajectory in August, with a few exceptions," Blomquist says. "Most notably, Washington state documented a 38% annual increase in foreclosure activity in August after 16 straight months of year-over-year declines. The rebounding activity in Washington state is likely the result of lenders catching up with foreclosures delayed by a state law that took effect in July 2011 and allowed homeowners facing foreclosure to request mediation. This rebounding pattern will likely be repeated in the coming months in other states that have passed legislation delaying the foreclosure process."

High-level findings from the report:

    •    Illinois posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate, one in every 298 housing units with a foreclosure filing. August was the first month that Illinois has ranked No. 1 since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.


    •    Twenty states registered year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, led by judicial foreclosure states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Illinois and Pennsylvania.


    •    Foreclosure activity in the 24 non-judicial states and District of Columbia combined decreased 31% annually, although 15 non-judicial states and DC posted monthly increases in foreclosure activity, including Arkansas (61%), Utah (41%), Colorado (25%) and Washington (23%).


    •    Following three straight months of year-over-year increases, U.S. foreclosure starts in August decreased 13% from a 17-month high in August 2011.


    •    U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in August decreased 2% from the previous month and were down 19% annually - the 22nd consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in REOs.

Foreclosure starts - default notices or scheduled foreclosure actions, depending on the state - were filed for the first time on 99,405 U.S. properties in August, a 1% increase from July but down 13% from August 2011, when foreclosure starts hit a 17-month high.

Foreclosure starts increased annually in 18 states, including Washington (143%), Pennsylvania (129%), Alabama (102%), New Jersey (101%) and New York (63%).

Other states with sizable annual increases in foreclosure starts included Minnesota (42%), North Carolina (36%), Maryland (29%), Florida (26%) and Illinois (18%).

States with some of the biggest annual decreases in foreclosure starts included Oregon (89%), Nevada (64%), Utah (57%), Massachusetts (47%), California (42%), Arizona (41%) and Georgia (31%). Recent legislation or court rulings in Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, California and Georgia could be contributing to a slowdown in those states.

Illinois posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate in August thanks to a 29% jump in overall foreclosure activity from the previous month. A total of 17,781 Illinois properties had a foreclosure filing in August, one in every 298 housing units and an increase of 42% from August 2011.

Illinois foreclosure activity was up across the board - foreclosure starts increased 18% annually, scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 116% annually, and bank repossessions were up 41% annually. August marked the eighth consecutive month where Illinois foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis.

Florida foreclosure activity in August increased on a year-over-year basis for the seventh time in the last eight months, helping the state post the nation's second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 328 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Florida foreclosure starts increased 26% annually while scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 4% and bank repossessions were up 12%.

Foreclosure activity in August increased from the previous month in eight of the 10 cities with the nation's highest foreclosure rates among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more.

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