RealtyTrac LogoA 20 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity pushed Florida’s foreclosure rate to the highest among the states in May, up from the No. 2 ranking in April, foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

One in every 302 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average. Florida foreclosure starts jumped 39 percent from a two-year low in April, but were still down 17 percent from a year ago. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida increased 6 percent from the previous month and were up 79 percent from a year ago, while Florida bank repossessions increased 14 percent from the previous month and were up 20 percent from a year ago.

Top metro foreclosures in the Sunshine State

With one in every 209 housing units with a foreclosure filing, Miami posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate in May among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Foreclosure activity in the Miami metro area increased 29 percent from the previous month and was up 59 percent from a year ago.
Five other Florida metro areas posted foreclosure rates that ranked among the top 10 in May: Jacksonville at No. 2 (one in every 225 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Tampa at No. 3 (one in every 290 housing units); Orlando at No. 7 (one in every 336 housing units); Ocala at No. 9 (one in every 352 housing units); and Sarasota at No. 10 (one in every 360 housing units). In Lee County, one in every 392 homes had a foreclosure filing. One out of every 510 homes in Collier County is in some state of foreclosure.
Non-judicial vs. judicial states The foreclosure problem continued to shift away from non-judicial states and toward judicial states in RealtyTrac’s May report. Judicial states accounted for five of the top six foreclosure rates nationwide: Florida, Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina and Illinois. At No. 2, Nevada’s foreclosure rate was the highest ranked among non-judicial states.
Nationally, foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — increased 2 percent from the 75-month low in April, but is still down 28 percent from May 2012. The May report also shows one in every 885 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
The pickup was caused largely by an 11 percent month-over-month increase in bank repossessions (REOs), although REO activity dropped 29 percent from a year ago, reflecting a long-term downward trend.
Among the five lenders involved in last year’s national mortgage settlement, all but one (Citi) posted monthly increases in REO activity, indicating that temporary stoppages of foreclosure sales announced during the month by some of the lenders involved in the settlement had little lasting impact on the number of completed foreclosures for the month.