LAS VEGAS -- Thanks to a spike in default notices Nevada led the nation in foreclosure activity in September and ranked second behind Florida for the third quarter of the year, RealtyTrac.com reported Wednesday night.
The real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif., reported that 2,763 default notices were issued to Nevada homeowners in September, just before the state's new Homeowner's Bill of Rights law went into effect on Oct. 1. The law contained in Senate Bill 321 was intended to give homeowners more protection from potential foreclosures by lenders.
Coupled with notices of pending trustee sales and repossessions by banks, Nevada last month had 4,663 foreclosure filings, or one for every 249 housing units. That was quadruple the national average of one filing per 998 housing units. Nevada's foreclosure activity was up 97 percent from September 2012.
In the Las Vegas metropolitan area, foreclosure activity was up 109 percent from a year ago. Las Vegas also had the nation's fifth highest foreclosure rate among large metros in the third quarter with one filing per 109 housing units. The Port St. Lucie, Fla., area topped that list with one filing per 83 housing units.
"The sharp jumps in foreclosure activity in some local markets may come as a surprise to some," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "These spikes in activity demonstrate that while millions of distressed homeowners have been pulled back from the precipice by foreclosure prevention programs over the past several years, once those programs expire or are exhausted, a percentage of these troubled homeowners are still susceptible to falling into foreclosure. In addition even slight economic downturns at the local or regional level can push these homeowners hanging on by a thread over the edge."
There were 1,668 repossessions by lenders in Nevada in the third quarter of the year, up 29 percent from the second quarter but down 30 percent from the third quarter of 2012.