The US states still dealing with a foreclosure glut
Foreclosure activity increased slightly from January to February, with one in every 1,353 housing units in some state of foreclosure, according to real estate data company RealtyTrac. In January, the foreclosure rate was one in every 1,395. Still, it's a decrease from last February, when one in every 1,295 homes had a foreclosure filing.
The company determines foreclosure rates by looking at the share of U.S. residential housing units with a foreclosure filing — like a notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession. The slight month-over-month jump in foreclosure activity stems from a 24% increase in bank repossessions, often the last step in foreclosure.
That trend is consistent on the state level, at least when you look at the states with the highest foreclosure rates. Among states with a high frequency of foreclosure, foreclosure activity increased month over month and year over year in nearly half of them. High rates of repossession was a common theme.
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Foreclosures can diminish the value of surrounding properties, which is one reason it's important for homeowners to know the foreclosure rate in their area. As for struggling homeowners, there are some steps you can take to protect your home from foreclosure, but it's also important to know that you can recover from such a significant setback.
Yes, a foreclosure will significantly damage your credit — not to mention the emotional challenges that come from losing your home — but as time goes on, the impact on your credit will diminish. It will recover with time, if you focus on re-establishing a solid payment history and take steps to improve your score. You can check your progress by reviewing a free summary of your credit report each month on Credit.com.
Nine of the states on January's list were once again among the states with the highest foreclosure rates. Here are the rankings from February.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,132 housing units
Change from January 2016: Down 8% (was ranked No.7)
Change from February 2015: Down 23%
9. South Carolina
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,101
Change from January 2016: up 9% (was ranked No.9)
Change from February 2015: up 3%
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,060
Change from January 2016: up 28% (was ranked No.14)
Change from February 2015: up 104%
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,035
Change from January 2016: down 2% (was ranked No.6)
Change from February 2015: down 3%
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 817
Change from January 2016: down 3% (was ranked No.4)
Change from February 2015: down 30%
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.