"The most troubling thing is that we are seeing more and more of these properties actually going all the way through the process and going back to the banks,'' Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview.
Defaults among sub-prime borrowers and those unable to meet rising payments on adjustable-rate loans drove foreclosure filings to the highest since August and the second-highest since RealtyTrac started keeping records. About $460 billion of adjustable mortgages are scheduled to reset this year, raising minimum payments for borrowers, according to New York-based analysts at Citigroup Inc.
More than 233,000 properties were in some stage of default last month. Total filings increased 8 percent in January from December, said RealtyTrac, a seller of foreclosure statistics that has a database of more than 1 million properties.
Nevada, California and Florida recorded the highest foreclosure rates among the 50 states, RealtyTrac said.