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Maryland Overtakes Florida for Nation’s Highest Foreclosure Rate

Maryland Foreclosure Rate [1]A surge in foreclosure activity for Maryland in October pushed the state into the top spot among states with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, according to RealtyTrac [2]'s October 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report [3] released Thursday.

Maryland overtook Florida, which had held the number one position for 12 consecutive months, according to RealtyTrac. Before October, the last time Florida did not have the nation's highest foreclosure rate for a month was in September 2013, when Nevada held the top spot.

Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions (REOs), totaled 5,943 for Maryland in October [4] (one in every 400 residential housing units), an increase of 68 percent from September and 30 percent from October 2013. It was the highest number of foreclosure filings for the Old Line State for a single month since July 2010, a total of 51 months.

All three phases of the foreclosure process jumped up year-over-year in Maryland in October: foreclosure starts rose by 4 percent, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased by 12 percent, and REOs skyrocketed by 190 percent, according to RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure activity declined in Florida [5] in October on a year-over-year basis for the 15th consecutive month, according to RealtyTrac. Month-over-month, foreclosure activity in the Sunshine State declined by 2 percent. One in every 444 residential properties in Florida had a foreclosure filing in October, giving it the second-highest rate among states.

Nevada had the nation's third-highest foreclosure rate [6] in October with one for every 596 residential properties, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure activity in the Silver State was up 34 percent from September but down 31 percent from October 2013. In Ohio [7], foreclosure filings increased by 51 percent from September to October, ranking the Buckeye State fourth with one foreclosure filing for every 674 housing units. Even with the significant month-over-month increase, foreclosure activity in Ohio was down by 22 percent from October 2013.

In Illinois, foreclosure filings increased [8] by 11 percent from September to October but like Ohio, they declined by 22 percent year-over-year. The Prairie State's foreclosure rate of one for every 712 housing units was the fifth highest rate in the U.S. for October, according to RealtyTrac.

Rounding out the top 10 for the highest foreclosure rate among states in October, according to RealtyTrac, were Delaware (sixth, 1:752), Indiana (seventh, 1:762), South Carolina (eighth, 1:814), New Jersey (ninth, 1:878) and Georgia (10th, 1:899).

Maryland's spike in foreclosures can be attributed to the enormous year-over-year increases in October for two of the state's largest metro areas. In Baltimore, foreclosure completions surged by 212 percent and in Hagerstown-Martinsburg, foreclosure completions saw a 178 increase, according to RealtyTrac. Baltimore had the fifth-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. among metropolitan areas with a population of more than 200,000, with one foreclosure filing for every 435 housing units, according to RealtyTrac. The metro areas with the four highest foreclosure rates were all in Florida.

Baltimore's foreclosure rate of 1:435 was the third-highest among the nation's top 20 most populated metro areas. The top two were Miami and Tampa.