LAS VEGAS -- For the first time in nearly three years, foreclosure starts in Nevada last month were higher than a year ago, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday night.
There were 1,441 notices of default filed against Nevada properties in October, a 53.8 percent jump from September and a 20 percent increase from a year ago, according to the foreclosure-tracking company from Irvine, Calif.
The annual increase was the first for Nevada in 32 months and offers evidence that banks have figured out a way to cope with Assembly Bill 284. That state law, effective last year, makes it more difficult for mortgage lenders to initiate foreclosure proceedings against homeowners who are late with their payments.
Nevada became the nation's leading state for foreclosure activity following the onset of the recession in late 2007, but began slipping in the rankings after the law took effect. Nevada ranked fifth in foreclosure activity in September but climbed back to second place behind Florida in October with one foreclosure filing for every 352 housing units.
That was double the national average last month of one filing per 706 housing units. Filings include notices of default, notices of pending sales and repossessions by lenders.
Overall foreclosure activity in October was up 45 percent in the Las Vegas metro area and nearly 41 percent statewide compared to September. Despite the sharp increase in notices of default, though, Nevada's overall foreclosure activity was still 47 percent below a year ago. Lenders in Nevada repossessed 1,135 properties in October, 68.9 percent more than in September but still 50 percent below the volume in October 2011.
"We continued to see vastly different foreclosure trends across the country in October, depending primarily on how each state's foreclosing infrastructure was able to handle the high volume of delinquent loans during the worst of the foreclosure crisis in 2010," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said.