A RealtyTrac report said more than 74,000 properties were repossessed by lenders during the month.
By ALAN ZIBEL
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Despite halts on new foreclosures by several major lenders, the number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac reported today.
Nationwide, nearly 291,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice last month, up 6 percent from January, according to the Irvine, Calif-based company.
While foreclosures are highly concentrated in the Western states and Florida, the problem is spreading to states like Idaho, Illinois and Oregon as the U.S. economy worsens.
The rise in foreclosure filings came despite temporary halts to foreclosures by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and major banks JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America.
Those companies pledged to do so in advance of President Barack Obama’s plan to stem the foreclosure crisis, which was launched last week.
The RealtyTrac report said more than 74,000 properties were repossessed by lenders in February as the worst recession in decades, falling home values and stricter lending standards continue to sap the U.S. real estate market.
Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation’s top foreclosure rates.
In Nevada, one in every 70 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one every 147 in Arizona.
Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.