Blomquist: u201cNationally, 2013 is likely to be book-ended by two discrete jumps in foreclosure activity.u201d

IRVINE, CA-While the number of foreclosure filings decreased 3% nationally in 2012 from 2011, foreclosure activity increased in 25 states over the course of last year, according to locally based RealtyTrac‘s Year-End 2012 Foreclosure Market Report. Twenty of those states primarily use the longer judicial foreclosure process, including New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois and New York. However, foreclosure activity in 2012 decreased from 2011 in 25 states—19 of which primarily use the more streamlined non-judicial foreclosure process, including Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, California and Michigan.

Florida posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in 2012, with 3.11% of housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the year. Other states with top five foreclosure rates were Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Illinois.

According to Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac, “2012 was the year of the judicial foreclosure, with foreclosure activity increasing from 2011 in 20 of the 26 states that primarily use the judicial process, and a judicial state—Florida—posting the highest state foreclosure rate for the first time since the housing crisis began. Meanwhile, foreclosure activity continued to decline in 19 of the 24 states that use the more streamlined non-judicial foreclosure process, but there could be a backlog of delayed foreclosures building up in some of those states as well as the result of recent state legislation and court rulings that raise the bar for lenders to foreclose.”

As reported earlier this month, while foreclosure starts dropped 28% from a year ago to a 71-month low, the number of bank repossessions increased annually for the first time since October 2010, according to RealtyTrac. The firm’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November 2012 showed foreclosure filings decreased 3% from October and 19% from November 2011, but US bank repossessions increased 11% from the previous month and 5% from November 2011, a nine-month high.

For the full report, click here.

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