With Atlanta as the exception, all of the metro areas on RealtyTrac's top 20 list for foreclosure rates in 2011 demonstrated declines in foreclosures from both of the previous two years.[IMAGE]
Foreclosure filings in the Atlanta area in 2011 were 2 percent higher than in 2009.
Atlanta took the No. 12 spot on the top 20 list for the year with a 3.69 percent foreclosure rate.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Half of the metros in RealtyTrac's list top 20 foreclosure rates for 2011 were located in California. The California metro with the highest foreclosure rate for the year was Stockton, which came in second on the top 20 list with a rate of 5.43 percent.
California metros also took the third, fourth, and fifth spots on the top 20 list: Modesto (5.20 percent), Vallejo-Fairfield (5.2 percent), and Riverside-San Bernardino (5.16 percent).
Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate in 2011 among metro areas with populations of at least 200,000. About one in 14 homes Ã¢â‚¬" 7.38 percent Ã¢â‚¬" received at least one foreclosure filing in the Las Vegas area over the year.
However, Nevada's foreclosures declined sharply from the third quarter to the fourth quarter after the implementation of a law mandating lenders file an additional affidavit in order to initiate the foreclosure process.
With Arizona posting the second-highest foreclosure rates among the states, Phoenix also maintained an elevated foreclosure rate of 3.69 percent, earning it the No. 6 spot on the top 20 list.