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Originally published Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM

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N.Y. area leads rise in foreclosure filings

Foreclosure rates in Seattle metro area up from third quarter a year ago.

Bloomberg News

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The New York metropolitan area had the biggest jump in foreclosure filings among top U.S. markets in the third quarter as lenders began to work through a backlog in a region where seizing properties takes the longest.

The 69 percent gain in default, auction and repossession filings was the steepest among the 20 largest metro areas, according to RealtyTrac.

The New York region’s increase ran counter to the national trend. Filings declined from a year earlier in more than three-fifths of U.S. metro areas, the Irvine, Calif.- based data provider said Thursday.

In the 212 U.S. metro areas with populations of 200,000 or more, 531,576 properties received filings in the third quarter, down 13 percent from a year earlier and 4.8 percent from the second quarter, RealtyTrac said.

With decreases in 131 of those areas, “most of the nation’s housing markets are past the worst of the foreclosure problem,” said Daren Blomquist, a Realty Trac vice president.

Twelve of the top 20 metro areas had declines from a year earlier, led by drops of 36 percent in San Francisco, 31 percent in Detroit, 29 percent in Los Angeles, 27 percent in Phoenix and 26 percent in San Diego, according to RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure filings advanced the most in Tampa, Fla., with a 43 percent increase; Philadelphia and Chicago, with 34 percent gains in both cities; and Seattle, with a 20 percent rise.

That figure is for the entire Seattle metropolitan area, which includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

In King County alone, the year-over-year increase was just 5 percent.

Stockton, Calif., led the 20 metro areas with the highest rates of foreclosure filings, at one in 67 households, more than three times the U.S. average of one in 248.

While cities in California had the seven highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter, all had fewer filings than they did a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.

In the Seattle metropolitan area, one in 185 households received a foreclosure filing during the third quarter.

But, again, the rate was lower in King County, just one in 267.

The rate was one in 124 in Pierce County and one in 137 in Snohomish.

Seattle Times reporter Eric Pryne contributed to this report.

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