MIAMI -- The number of U.S. households threatened with losing their homes held steady last month, a sign that lenders' efforts to help distressed borrowers may be having a gradual impact.
But one month does not make a trend.
More than 358,000 foreclosure-related filings were recorded in August, meaning one in 357 U.S. homes received a filing, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday. That number, up 18 percent from a year ago, includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
Mortgage companies are ramping up efforts to help troubled borrowers modify their loan payments to make them more affordable, data Wednesday showed. And RealtyTrac said bank repossessions dropped 13 percent from July.
The problem is the economy. The unemployment rate continues to rise, despite a new Federal Reserve survey that suggested the recession is over.
More than 138,000 households received a default notice in August. Another 144,113 received a notice scheduling the house for public auction.
"The August report demonstrates that there is still an ample supply of properties filling the foreclosure pipeline," said James Saccacio, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
Despite an 8 percent monthly decline in foreclosure activity in August, Nevada had the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the 32nd-straight month. Nearly 18,000 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing, down 8 percent from July but an increase of more than half from August last year.
Florida, California, Arizona, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Georgia and Illinois completed the top 10 states for foreclosure filings.
Among cities with at least 200,000 people, Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate, followed by the California cities of Stockton, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Vallejo-Fairfield and Modesto.