Nationwide foreclosure filings rose 15% in January from a year earlier and exceeded 300,000 for the 11th consecutive month, as modification programs failed to keep delinquent borrowers in their homes, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

A total of 315,716 properties received a notice of default, auction or bank seizure last month, or one in 409 households, the Irvine, Calif., seller of default data said Thursday.

Filings fell 10% from December.

Foreclosure filings also fell in January of last year from December, only to rise in subsequent months, RealtyTrac said.

"If history repeats itself, we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure alternatives works," James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive, said in a press release.

January's total filings were down 12% from the July peak, according to RealtyTrac.

Bank seizures climbed 31% from a year earlier, default notices rose 4% and scheduled auctions increased 15%.

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate for the 37th straight month, with one in 95 households receiving a filing in January. Total filings in the state fell 18% from a year earlier, to 11,854.

Arizona ranked second, with filings for one in 129 households. The rate for both California and Florida was one in 187 households, RealtyTrac said.

Utah, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon and Georgia rounded out the 10 highest foreclosure rates.

California had the most filings with 71,817, down 6.4% from a year earlier.

Florida followed with 47,069, up 15%, and Arizona was third at 21,048, up 43%. The three states accounted for 44% of the U.S. total.

Illinois was fourth with 18,120 filings, up 25% from a year earlier. Michigan ranked fifth with 17,574, up 54%.

Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Ohio and New Jersey completed the 10 states with the most filings, RealtyTrac said.

Filings increased 23% from a year earlier, to 6,146 in New Jersey.

They rose 34%, to 2,218 in Connecticut, and jumped 31%, to 4,569 in New York.

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