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Foreclosure Filings Jump 8% in January

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Foreclosure activity in the U.S. rose last month compared with December. But the number of filings was still lower than a year ago, the latest report from RealtyTrac shows.

The foreclosure tracking firm says 124,419 properties received a foreclosure filing in January -- up 8 percent from December but down 18 percent from the same time period last year.

"Although the numbers are still down from a year ago, we're seeing certain parts of the country that are experiencing some pretty dramatic increases still in foreclosure activity," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says.

"Probably the most dramatic example we saw in January was in California, where there was a 57 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts compared to a year ago," he adds.

While foreclosure activity in January was down on an annual basis for the 40th straight month, the decrease was the smallest drop since September 2012, RealtyTrac reports.  Futhermore, the monthly increase in January was the largest month-over-month rise since May 2012.

"The long-term trend is that we're on the down-slope of this foreclosure crisis, and things are getting better, but what we're seeing with January is a bump in the road, and we're going to continue to see some more bumps in the road, we think, throughout this year," Blomquist notes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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