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September saw a hike in foreclosure filings by 21% since the same period last year, according to RealtyTrac, as economic uncertainty, subprime mortgages and financial instability continue to affect families across the U.S.

For homeowners, the news continues to remain bleak. There are a few hot spots for affordable homes and employment opportunities. But overall the continued high number of foreclosures leaves many homeowners at loss as neighborhoods shrink and friendships are forever changed.

The silver lining: Foreclosures are down since August. “Much of the 12% decrease in September can be attributed to changes in state laws that have at least temporarily slowed the pace at which lenders are moving forward with foreclosures,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac in a statement.

Florida saw its foreclosure filings expand past California, a state which passed legislation requiring lenders to make contact with lenders 30 days before filing a Notice of Default, with one in every 178 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in September. Take a look at the states most affected by foreclosure filings in September.

Top 10 States with the Highest Foreclosure Rates:
New Jersey