Kentucky foreclosures fall by one-third

New foreclosure filings dropped by one-third in Kentucky in October compared with September, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.

The decline of 33.5 percent caused Kentucky to improve to 43rd in the ranking of states with the most foreclosures. Kentucky ranked 38th in September.

Kentucky also had a 35 percent decline in filings in October compared with October 2007, the California foreclosure tracking firm said.

The state fared far better than the nation, which saw a 24.5 percent increase in October, compared with October 2007, and a 5.1 percent increase from September 2008.

RealtyTrac said 279,561 properties — one for every 452 households — went into foreclosure nationwide in October. The rate in Kentucky, which had 528 new filings last month, was one foreclosure for every 3,576 households.

"October marks the 34th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity has increased compared to the prior year," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive officer.

A foreclosure typically begins when a home buyer falls three months or more behind in mortgage payments and the lender goes to court to have the property sold at auction to repay the loan.

Nevada, which has led the nation in foreclosures for more than a year, was No. 1 again in October, with 14,483 new filings — one for every 149 households in the state.

Arizona was No. 2, followed by Florida, California, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Texas and New Jersey.

The lowest foreclosure rate was in Vermont, which had only 13 new filings in October — one for every 23,812 households in the state.