Foreclosure Activity Dropped by 3% in 2012, But Rose in 25 States

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A total of 1,836,634 U.S. properties received a foreclosure filing last year, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, marking a 3 percent drop from 2011.

The latest figure is also down 36 percent from 2010, when foreclosure filings peaked.

But while the picture looked positive nationwide, the foreclosure tracking firm found that that wasn't the case for some states.

"We saw 25 states nationwide, actually, had increase in foreclosure activity from 2011 to 2012, counter to the national trend -- and some of those increases were pretty significant," said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

Foreclosure activity rose 55 percent in New Jersey last year; 53 percent in Florida; 48 percent in Connecticut; 46 percent in Indiana; 33 percent in Illinois; and 31 percent in New York.

"Those states tend to be the states with the longer foreclosure process," explained Blomquist.

Another negative finding from RealtyTrac's report: 26 percent of all homes with a mortgage are seriously under water.

"There are still 10.9 million homeowners nationwide who owe more on their property than what it's worth -- and that's just gonna take time as home prices gradually increase, for those homeowners to get out from that negative equity position," Blomquist said.

But there has been some improvement, as Blomquist pointed out.

"That number of negative equity homeowners is down 1.6 million from a year ago -- so, a year ago, it was at 12.5 million -- and so, we're making progress on that front, too, but it's not gonna be overnight that we get out of the problems created by the housing bubble," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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