Kentucky foreclosure rate up again

Foreclosures increased nearly 2 percent in Kentucky in August, but the state held on to its July ranking of 35th among the states.

RealtyTrac said 1,250 new foreclosures were filed in Kentucky last month, which was 1.96 percent more than in July and 37.2 percent more than in August 2007.

There was one filing in August for every 1,511 households in the state.

Nationally, new filings rose 11.65 percent from July and 26.7 percent from August 2007, RealtyTrac reported. The August rate was one filing for every 416 households.

There was bad news and good news in the latest national numbers, RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio. said.

"In August, the total number of U.S. properties that received foreclosure filings as well as the national foreclosure rate were both the highest we've seen in any month since we began issuing our report in January 2005," Saccacio said.

Yet, the annual increase of 26.7 percent was "substantially lower than in previous months this year, when it was hovering around 50 to 65 percent," he said.

The reason for the decline was "a big spike" in filings in August 2007 that made last month's total of 303,879 new filings seem less steep.

Another factor is new laws in several states that give distressed homeowners more time before foreclosures can be filed, Saccacio said. Some lenders also have adopted new guidelines to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

The state with the biggest problem continued to be Nevada, where 11,706 new foreclosures were filed in August, involving one in every 91 households.

California was No. 2, followed by Arizona, Florida and Michigan — states hit hard by the national economic slowdown and subprime lending to low-income borrowers.

All of Kentucky's neighbors, except West Virginia at No. 50, had more serious foreclosure problems in August. Illinois was No. 11; Indiana, No. 10; Missouri, No. 15; Ohio, No. 7; Tennessee, No. 13; and Virginia, No. 14.