A new report released today indicates the number of foreclosures fell last month. While California and Nevada maintained their status as the states with the worst rankings, Vermont ranked best.
During September, servicers filed 223,538 foreclosures, down from 243,947 the prior month -- when filings reached a 32-month high, RealtyTrac reported. However, filings were still nearly double the level a year earlier.
Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions, occurred on one out of every 557 households, according to the company's September 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The statistics were drawn from a database of more than 1 million foreclosure and bank-owned properties in almost 2,500 counties and reflect notices of default and lis pendens, auction -- notices of trustee sale and notice of foreclosure sale, and real estate owned.
Foreclosures fell in 39 states while all categories of foreclosures were down nationally, RealtyTrac said.
"Nevertheless, it's important to note that September's total was still the second highest monthly total we've seen since we began issuing our report in January of 2005," RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said in the statement.
Nevada, with 5,504 foreclosures amounting to one filing for every 185 households, had the worst rate in the country during September -- though it did improve 11 percent month-over-month, the report indicated. Florida was the second worst state, with a rate of one filing per every 248 household. Florida saw a total of 33,354 foreclosures.
But it was California, with a total of 51,259 foreclosure filings, that had the biggest number of filings, RealtyTrac said. The Golden State's foreclosure rate was one filing for every 253 households.
Rounding out the 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Texas and Indiana, the report indicated. Ohio followed California and Florida with the highest number of filings -- 15,709 during September.
Among the 10 states with the most filings, Illinois was the only one that reportedly saw a monthly increase.
"California and Florida metropolitan areas posted eight of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in September, with California metros claiming six spots and Florida metros taking two spots," RealtyTrac stated. "Merced, Calif., documented the highest metro foreclosure rate in the nation -- one foreclosure filing for every 68 households -- followed by the California metros of Modesto, Stockton and Riverside-San Bernardino."
With just five filings, Vermont had the fewest foreclosures filed, according to the data. In addition, the state had the lowest rate -- at one filing for every 61,469 households.