A report released yesterday by RealtyTrac shows more than 1.2 million foreclosure filings were recorded nationwide in 2006, up 42 percent from 2005. The 2006 RealtyTrac Foreclosure Market Report also revealed that there is one foreclosure filing for every 92 U.S. households. While foreclosures are not at historically high levels, a 42 percent year-over-year increase is certainly noteworthy and cause for concern. When foreclosure rates rise, con artists crawl out from the rocks they were hiding under to prey on the vulnerable homeowners. To protect yourself, you should know your options and know your rights.
According to the report, the total number of foreclosure filings rose from a little over 885,000 in 2005 to 1,259,118 in 2006. Colorado documented the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the year, one foreclosure filing for every 33 households or 3 percent of the state’s households. The state reported 54,747 foreclosure filings during the year, an 85 percent increase from 2005 and the eighth highest total among all states.
Georgia and Nevada both reported one foreclosure filing for every 41 households in 2006, but Georgia edged out Nevada with a slightly higher percentage of households in foreclosure, 2.5 percent compared to 2.4 percent in Nevada. Georgia reported 75,975 foreclosure filings during the year, the sixth most of any state and a 67 percent year-over-year increase. Nevada foreclosures surged in fourth quarter, pushing the state’s total for the year to 21,045, nearly three times the number reported in 2005.
Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest included Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Utah and Tennessee. Texas reported 156,876 foreclosure filings for the year, the most of any state, and nearly 13 percent of the national total. The state consistently reported big foreclosure numbers throughout 2006, documenting the highest monthly total eight times, and foreclosures for the year were up more than 14 percent from 2005. Texas’ foreclosure total represented nearly 2 percent of the state’s households, or one foreclosure filing for every 51 households, giving the Lone Star state the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate.
Rising foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter pushed California’s 2006 foreclosure total to second highest among all U.S. states. California reported 142,429 foreclosure filings during the year, more than twice the number reported in 2005, and accounting for more than 11 percent of the national total. California’s 2006 foreclosure rate of one filing for every 86 households ranked 14th in the U.S.
Florida’s foreclosure activity remained relatively flat in 2006, up just 2 percent from 2005, but the state’s foreclosure total still placed third highest among all the states. Florida reported 124,721 foreclosure filings during the year, a foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 59 households. The state’s foreclosure rate dropped to seventh highest in 2006 after claiming the top spot in 2005.
With an average of more than 10,000 foreclosure filings in each quarter, Detroit, Michigan, documented the highest annual foreclosure rate among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Atlanta, Georgia’s 2006 foreclosure total of 63,737 represented 4.4 percent of the city’s households, ranking it second in the nation. Indianapolis, Indiana’s foreclosures decreased in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2006, but the city still documented the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate: 4.3 percent of all households.
Other cities with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest include Denver, Dallas, Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Memphis, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.