Foreclosure rates up 4 percent in July

Foreclosure auctions were scheduled for the first time on a total of 135,248 homes in July, an increase of 2 percent from the previous month but a decrease of 2 percent from July 2009. Scheduled auctions last month were down 14 percent from their peak of 158,105 in March 2010.

Lenders foreclosed on 92,858 homes in July, a 9 percent increase from the previous month and a 6 percent increase from July 2009. 

July’s bank repossession total was the second highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began tracking the activity in April 2005, and was 1 percent below the monthly peak of 93,777 in May 2010.

Nevada, Arizona and Florida posted the worst foreclosure rates in July, with Nevada reporting the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the 43rd straight month. 

Still the numbers year-over-year were showing some improvement. 

In Nevada, a total of 13,727 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing in July, a nearly 7 percent increase from the previous month but a nearly 30 percent decrease from July 2009. July was the 10th straight month where overall Nevada foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis.

Five states accounted for more than 50 percent of the national total — California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Arizona. 

Four of those states will get part of $3 billion from the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments to help unemployed homeowners stave off foreclosure.

At $476 million, California gets the largest share, while Florida will receive about $239 million, Illinois gets $166 million, Michigan $129 million and Nevada is set to receive $34 million under the program. 

In July, California accounted for 21 percent of the national foreclosure total, with 66,910 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, down 3 percent from June and down 38 percent from July 2009.

Florida represented 16 percent of the national total in July even though foreclosures decreased nearly 9 percent from July 2009.

Illinois foreclosure activity increased 33 percent from the previous month, the biggest monthly increase among states with top 10 foreclosure rates. 

Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest in July were Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Maryland.