More than 50 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity during the third quarter of 2010 took place in five states:  California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and Michigan, according to data released by RealtyTrac

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. were up nearly four percent from the second quarter, but down one percent compared to third quarter 2009.  Foreclosure filings include default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions, and bank repossessions.  Repossessions in September surpassed the 100,000 mark, an historic high.

The other states rounding out the top ten for disclosure filings during the quarter were Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Idaho, and Hawaii.

While Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate in the country for the 16th quarter in a row, third quarter 2010 activity was down from the year before.  “One in every 29 Nevada housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, almost five times the national average,” according to a RealtyTrac press release. 

RealtyTrac calculates foreclosure rate by dividing the total number of housing units by the total number of properties that received foreclosure filings.  Hawaii’s foreclosure rate increased by 48 percent compared to third quarter 2009.

States that continue to boast low foreclosure rates include Vermont, leading the pack with a rate of 1 in 10,780 properties as of September 2010, along with West Virginia and North Dakota, both over 1 in 5000 properties.

RealtyTrac is a real estate website featuring foreclosure, auction, bank-owned, for-sale-by-owner, and resale properties.  It also collects and aggregates foreclosure data from more than 2,200 counties throughout the United States.