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Foreclosures Rise in October But Vary Regionally

Foreclosure rates increased on a monthly basis in October but remain well below last year's levels, according to the latest ""U.S. Foreclosure Market Report"":http://www.realtytrac.com/content/foreclosure-market-report/october-2012-us-foreclosure-market-report-7474 from RealtyTrac. Taking a closer look at market-level data, RealtyTrac found vast disparities in foreclosure activity across the nation.

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At a national level, foreclosures increased 3 percent in October, but they remain 19 percent lower than they were last October. In fact, despite the monthly increase, October is the third consecutive month in which an annual decrease in foreclosure starts took place.

Twenty-six states experienced rising foreclosures in October, but just 15 experienced year-over-year increases.

Significant monthly increases took place in October in Nevada (54 percent), Tennessee (52 percent), Minnesota (28 percent), North Carolina (26 percent), and New York (17 percent).

Year-over-year, increases were highest in New Jersey (140 percent), New York (123 percent), and Connecticut (41 percent).

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Of the 212 metro areas tracked by RealtyTrac, more than half â€" 113 â€" experienced increases in foreclosure activity in October.

The highest foreclosure rate in October did not take place in any of the states with the largest increases in foreclosures over the month. Instead, Florida claimed the highest foreclosure rate for the second consecutive month.

One in every 312 homes in Florida had a foreclosure filing in October, compared with one in every 706 homes in the nation overall.

With one in every 352 homes receiving foreclosure filings, Nevada claimed the No. 2 spot in October.

Foreclosure trends vary greatly from state to state and market to market, ""depending primarily on how each state's foreclosing infrastructure was able to handle the high volume of delinquent loans during the worst of the foreclosure crisis in 2010,"" said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.

While foreclosure starts were up in October, completed foreclosures were down. The decrease was less than 1 percent over the month but was 21 percent over the year, marking the 24th consecutive month of an annual national decrease.

Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia experienced decreases in completed foreclosures. However, a few states claimed significant increases, including Connecticut (44 percent), Maryland (38 percent), and South Carolina (37 percent).

Looking forward, Blomquist anticipates ""[t]he foreclosure moratoriums being put into effect as a result of the storm"" in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut ""will likely extend the already-lengthy time to foreclose in these states, further prolonging a fundamentally sound housing recovery.""

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