For the first time in almost a year, Nevada is back on top of America’s foreclosure heap as lenders repossess a rising number of homes.
One in every 507 homes statewide received a foreclosure-related filing last month, up 16 percent from July and 4 percent from August 2014, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.
Nevada’s foreclosure rate was highest in the country last month and more than double the U.S. average. One in every 1,205 homes nationally had a foreclosure filing in August, down 12 percent from July and 6 percent year-over-year.
RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, Calif., counts default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions for the report.
It was the Silver State’s first time in the dubious No. 1 spot since September 2014, RealtyTrac said.
Nevada, however, is no stranger there. Its foreclosure rate was highest in the country for more than five years until March 2012, a sign of how bad things got after the once-booming real estate market collapsed last decade and the economy tanked.
The past few years, Nevada has returned at times to the No. 1 spot in RealtyTrac’s foreclosure rankings and consistently been one of the hardest-hit states each month.
Among metro areas, Las Vegas — which comprises the bulk of Nevada’s population — tied with Rockford, Ill., and Fayetteville, N.C., for the eighth-highest foreclosure rate in the country last month, with one in every 565 homes receiving a filing.
Atlantic City, N.J., pummeled by a rash of casino closures — four of its 12 casinos shut down last year, wiping out a reported 8,000 jobs — was No. 1, with one in every 307 homes receiving a foreclosure filing in August.
Nevada was hit by a wave of repossessions last month. Creditors seized 645 homes statewide, up 54 percent from July and more than 230 percent from August 2014, RealtyTrac reported.
Most of the repos — 523 — were in the Las Vegas area.
Lenders have been ramping up foreclosures in Southern Nevada this year, seizing homes that in many cases likely had been in default — and possibly empty and in disrepair — for a long time.
At first glance, the rise in repossessions seems like a return to the darkest days of the recession, when thousands of people a month were losing their homes in the valley.
But industry pros have said that banks — perhaps pushed by a Nevada Supreme Court ruling last fall that upheld homeowners associations’ repo powers — are starting to clear the pipeline that filled during the recession, when new laws drastically slowed the foreclosure process on delinquent borrowers by requiring more paperwork from banks.