Foreclosure filings rose 8 percent in January from December and increased nearly 57 percent from January 2007, showing that foreclosure activity continues its upward trend, data from RealtyTrac showed on Tuesday.
Default notices, auction sales notices and banks repossessions were reported on 233,001 properties across the U.S. during the first month of the year, the data showed.
But the 8 percent monthly increase was not as high as the 19 percent monthly hike in January 2007, and several key states experienced decreasing foreclosure activity from the previous month, RealtyTrac said in a statement.
"It could be that some of the efforts on the part of lenders and the government – both at the state and federal level – are beginning to take effect," James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac CEO, said in the statement.
"The big question is whether those efforts are truly helping homeowners avoid foreclosure in the log term or if they are just temporarily forestalling the inevitable for many beleaguered borrowers," Saccacio added.
Nevada, California and Florida still topped the foreclosure rates ranking, with filings in Nevada falling by 45 percent on a monthly basis but still 95 percent up to 6,087 from January 2007.
Other states with foreclosure rates among the top ten were Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan.
The total number of foreclosures was highest in California, Florida and Texas.