LOS ANGELES (AP) -- New figures out Thursday show that foreclosure activity shot up last month across about half of the states, as banks tackled a backlog of homes with mortgages gone unpaid.
The Foreclosure listing service known as RealtyTrac Inc. says the increase occurred across 26 states where the courts supervise the foreclosure process.
In contrast, the 24 states where courts aren't a factor in foreclosures saw foreclosure activity decline in February.
Overall, U.S. foreclosure activity dipped 2 percent from January and was down 8 percent from February last year.
While uneven, the pace of foreclosures is accelerating following a $25 billion settlement reached last month between the nation's biggest mortgage lenders and state officials over the industry's handling of foreclosures.
RealtyTrac projects that foreclosures will rise 25 percent this year to 1 million homes.