Foreclosure Home Housing & Foreclosure Reports U.S. Foreclosure Market Report August 2012

August Foreclosure Activity Flat Nationwide, Spikes in Some States

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20  States Document Year-Over-Year Increases in Foreclosure Activity
    Illinois  Posts Nation’s Highest State Foreclosure Rate for First Time Since Jan 2005

IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 13, 2012 — RealtyTrac® (, the leading online  marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure  Market Report™ for August 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default  notices, scheduled auctions and bank  repossessions — were reported on 193,508 U.S. properties in August, an  increase of 1 percent from July but down 15 percent from August 2011. The  report also shows one in every 681 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing  during the month.

“Bucking the national trend, deferred foreclosure  activity boiled over in several states in August,” said 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. Previous to  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 continued. “Most notably, Washington state documented a  38 percent 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 percent annually, although 15  non-judicial states and DC posted monthly increases in foreclosure activity,  including Arkansas (61 percent), Utah (41 percent), Colorado (25 percent) and  Washington (23 percent). 
  • Following three straight months of year-over-year  increases, U.S. foreclosure starts in August decreased 13 percent from a  17-month high in August 2011. 
  • U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in August decreased 2  percent from the previous month and were down 19 percent annually — the 22nd  consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in REOs. 

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

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

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

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

Bank repossessions decrease annually for 22nd straight month
Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 52,380  U.S. properties in August, a 2 percent decline from the previous month and a 19  percent decrease from August 2011 — the 22nd consecutive month with  a year-over-year decline in bank repossessions.

REO activity decreased annually in 35 states and  the District of Columbia. Some of the biggest state REO decreases were in  Nevada (76 percent), Oregon (57 percent), Virginia (56 percent), Washington (46  percent), Utah (46 percent), Massachusetts (43 percent), Pennsylvania (43  percent), and Colorado (43 percent).

States with some of the biggest annual increases in  REO activity included Kentucky (44 percent), Illinois (41 percent), Wisconsin  (32 percent) and Maryland (23 percent).

Illinois, Florida, California post highest state  foreclosure rates
Illinois posted  the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in August thanks to a 29 percent  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 percent from August 2011. Illinois  foreclosure activity was up across the board — foreclosure starts increased 18  percent annually, scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 116 percent annually,  and bank repossessions were up 41 percent 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 nations’ second highest  foreclosure rate: one in every 328 housing units with a foreclosure filing.  Florida foreclosure starts increased 26 percent annually while scheduled  foreclosure auctions were up 4 percent and bank repossessions were up 12  percent.

Despite a 32 percent  year-over-year decrease in overall foreclosure activity in August — the ninth  consecutive month with an annual decrease — California still  posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate. One in every 340  California housing units had a foreclosure filing in August — twice the  national average.

Other states with  foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest were Arizona (one in every 360  housing units with a foreclosure filing), Nevada (one in 402 housing units),  Georgia (one in 431 housing units), Ohio (one in 556 housing units), Michigan  (one in 593 housing units), Delaware (one in every 610 housing units) and  Colorado (one in every 617 housing units). 

Foreclosures increase from previous month in eight of 10 hardest-hit metros
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.

Foreclosure activity  increased from the previous month in the California cities of Modesto (14  percent), Merced (50 percent), Bakersfield (62 percent), Fresno (178 percent)  and Chico (87 percent). In Merced, foreclosure activity increased 13 percent  from August 2011 after 33 months of year-over-year decreases.

Other top 10 cities with  an increase in foreclosure activity from the previous month were Chicago (28  percent) and Rockford, Ill. (15 percent) and Miami (49 percent).

Modesto, Calif., posted  the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate, one in every 172 housing units  with a foreclosure filing in August — nearly four times the national average —  and the top seven metro foreclosure rates were in California.


MSA Name

August 2012 Properties with Foreclosure Filings

1/every X Housing Units

%Chg from Jul 12

%Chg from Aug 11


Modesto, CA






Merced, CA






Bakersfield, CA






Fresno, CA






Stockton, CA






Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA






Chico, CA






Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI






Rockford, IL






Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL






Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA






Vallejo-Fairfield, CA






Orlando-Kissimmee, FL






Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL






Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL






Jacksonville, FL






Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL






Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ






Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA






Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA





Report methodology
The RealtyTrac  U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties  with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac  database during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure  filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in  previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide,  and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s  report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: DefaultNotice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee’s Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and  NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a  bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type  of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe  for the state where the property is located.

Report License                                                                               
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is  the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac;  the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted,  copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in  any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for  said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Order Customized  Reports
Detailed and historical foreclosure data used to create the above report  may be purchased  through the RealtyTrac  Data Licensing Department at 949.502.8300 Ext. 158. Aggregate data is available  at the state, metro, county and zip code levels dating back to 2005, and  address-level foreclosure records are also available historically.

About RealtyTrac Inc.                                                        
RealtyTrac ( is the leading  online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million  default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along  with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting millions of unique  monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and  practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in  real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal  Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S.  Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments,  private companies and academic institutions to help evaluate foreclosure trends  and address policy issues related to foreclosures.

Media Contacts:

Jennifer von Pohlmann
949.502.8300, ext. 139  

Ginny Walker
949.502.8300, ext. 268

Order Custom Data:

Data Sales Department

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