|While foreclosures in California outnumber filings in any other state, California reduced the number of foreclosures started and completed last month while the country as a whole experienced deterioration. Servicers in states that already had some of the longest foreclosure timetables face even longer completion times as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Last month, 186,455 U.S. residential properties were hit with a foreclosure filing. Included in the filings were default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
Filings grew from 180,427 in September. But activity has slowed substantially from the same month last year, when 230,678 filings were made.
Historical data from RealtyTrac, which delivered the statistics, indicate that year-to-date Oct. 31 filings totaled around 1,763,832 -- though the total reflects some filings that were made on the same properties during different months.
RealtyTrac said that the findings reflect statistics collected from 2,200 U.S. counties that house more than 90 percent of the U.S. population.
California maintained its dominance among all states, with 36,054 properties that faced a filing in October. Filings in the Golden State, however, retreated from 37,917 in September.
Florida followed with 28,783 properties that were hit with a filings last month. Florida filings rose from 28,235 in September.
Illinois was No. 3 with 14,899 October filings, then 10,777 in Ohio and 9,309 in Georgia.
With just three filings, North Dakota had the fewest foreclosures.
"We continued to see vastly different foreclosure trends across the country in October, 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," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in the report. "Unfortunately the three states dealing with the biggest rebound in deferred foreclosure activity -- New Jersey, New York and Connecticut -- also had to deal with the devastation to homes inflicted by super storm Sandy.
"The foreclosure moratoriums being put into effect as a result of the storm will likely extend the already-lengthy time to foreclose in these states, further prolonging a fundamentally sound housing recovery."
One foreclosure filing was made on each 706 U.S. housing units during October, worsening from a month earlier when a filing was made on each 730 properties. The foreclosure rate has improved significantly from October 2011, when one filing was made on each 563 properties.
With a filing on each 312 properties, Florida had the worst rate.
Next was Nevada, where a filing was made on every 352 housing units.
Illinois followed with a rate of one-in-356, then California's one-in 379 and Arizona's one-in-420.
At just one filing for each 105,833 housing units -- North Dakota had the best rate.
Moving on to completed foreclosures, servicers finished the foreclosure process on 53,478 U.S. properties last month, a few less than the 53,569 repossessions in September. Real-estate-owned filings have tumbled from 67,624 during the same month last year.
During the first 10 months of 2012, completed foreclosures numbered 552,952.
California's 7,813 REO filings were more than any other state but less than the 8,357 completed in September.
Florida repossessions climbed to 7,301 from the prior month's 6,633.
Georgia's 3,788 REO filings followed, then Illinois' 3,734 and Michigan's 3,622.
All of North Dakota's three foreclosure filings were completed foreclosures -- fewer than any other state.