NEW YORK – House foreclosures rose 14 percent in the second quarter and more than doubled compared to the same period a year ago, according to data released Friday.
Nationwide, 739,714 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice during the quarter, or one in every 171 U.S. households, reported RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate data tracking firm in Irvine, Calif.
The increase is the eighth consecutive quarterly spike in foreclosures.
Soft housing sales, declining home values, tighter lending standards and a sluggish U.S. economy have left strapped homeowners with few options to avoid foreclosure. Many can't find buyers or owe more than their home is worth and can't refinance into an affordable loan.
Foreclosure filings increased year-over-year in all but two states, North Dakota and Alaska.
Nevada, California, Arizona, and Florida continued to clock in the highest foreclosure rates. One in every 43 Nevada households received a filing during the quarter.
Cities in California and Florida accounted for 16 of the worst 20 metro foreclosure rates. Stockton, Calif., had the worst rate, with one in every 25 homes in the town receiving a foreclosure filing. That's nearly seven times the national average.
RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. Banks took back more than 222,000 properties nationwide in the second quarter, the company said. Bank repossessions accounted for 30 percent of total foreclosure activity, up from 24 percent in the previous quarter.
Economists estimated 2.5 million homes nationwide will enter the foreclosure process this year, up from about 1.5 million in 2007.