Foreclosure rates across the US (© Joann Frederick/agefotostock )

© Joann Frederick/agefotostock

Foreclosures were up 47% in March from a year ago, and up 7% from last month alone, according to RealtyTrac. While foreclosure rates leveled off last year in the second and third quarters, many economists and industry insiders are predicting foreclosures to surge again in coming months.

Economist David Shulman of the UCLA Anderson Forecast says he thinks foreclosures will continue to rise for the remainder of the year as more adjustable-rate mortgages reset, including more so-called "no-doc" loans, which don't require verification of borrowers' income.

Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, expects a 35% to 40% jump in foreclosure filings this year over last year.

Some areas are suffering much more than others. Five states — California, Florida, Texas, Michigan and Ohio — together accounted for 50% of the nation's total foreclosures in March, according to RealtyTrac. But it was Nevada, Colorado and California that had the top three foreclosure rates for March.

Among cities, California's Stockton was No. 1, with one foreclosure in every 128 households — a 137% spike from February. Las Vegas, with 4,307 filings, had the nation's second-highest metro foreclosure rate in March, with one foreclosure filing for every 139 households — more than five times the national average. Other metro areas with foreclosure rates among the nation's 10 highest included Greeley, Colo. (No. 4); Detroit (No. 8) and Denver (No. 9).

Ranking foreclosures

StateTotal foreclosures1 foreclosure per # of households% change   from Feb 2007% change   from March 2006
Nevada4,73818329.42219.92
Colorado6,26729218.0216.23
California31,43438935.49183.88
Georgia6,769457-7.2-11.59
Arizona4,47648943.65118.45
Michigan8,610490-7.411.43
Florida14,303511-25.2954.08
Ohio8,2225829.9574.23
Indiana4,33258326-12.18
Illinois7,81962518.0870.27
Texas12,7556312.986.73
New Jersey4,780693-4.5328.91
Massachusetts3,49775039.99717.06*
Tennessee3,178772-17.15-6.53
Connecticut1,5179132.9983.21
Missouri2,4949775.7760.59
North Carolina3,2411,086-3.7156.34
Utah6361,208-25-55.74
Oklahoma1,1381,313-18.25-16.69
Washington1,7361,3787.16-5.86
Rhode Island3161,392128.9915700.00*
Idaho3551,48121.1666.67
Pennsylvania2,9211,79747.82-20.69
Oregon7471,9493.0328.13
Nebraska3572,01321.43144.52
New York3,7112,069-18.48-7.11
Alaska982,09420.99-3.92
Iowa5802,125-2.36144.73*
Maryland9652,220160.11326.99
Arkansas5052,323-61.86-60.14
New Mexico3262,394-32.0827.84
Delaware1432,399113.43472.00*
Alabama8062,43679.51357.95
Kentucky7002,50111.46102.31
Kansas4472,5235.67126.90*
Minnesota8082,559-13.0244.54
Virginia1,0542,73846.8293.28
Wisconsin8272,785-15.0967.75
Louisiana5793,252-24.51382.50*
Montana1173,52217-16.43
New Hampshire1154,757219.442200.00*
South Carolina3405,155-1.16-55.67
Hawaii657,08510.1744.44
West Virginia958,891206.4526.67
Maine6510,029622.22441.67
South Dakota3210,10045.4533.33
North Dakota2412,07033.3314.29
Mississippi9413,498-34.7228.77
Wyoming1022,385-66.67-67.74
District of Columbia554,969           —-61.54
Vermont1294,3820-80
U.S.149,1507756.646.81

*Actual increase may not be as high due to expanded data coverage.