March's increase in foreclosure starts was a direct result of the end of the moratorium for borrowers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Black Knight said.

There were 52,100 foreclosure starts in March, up 11.56% over February's 46,700. Florida and Texas were responsible for two-thirds of that increase, Black Knight said in its monthly first look report.

Compared to last March, foreclosure starts were down 13.6%.

On the good news side, serious delinquencies attributable to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma declined by 19,500 loans.

Foreclosure starts rise

But the five states with the largest percentage of loans 90 days or more late were all on the Gulf Coast: Florida at 3.34%, followed by Mississippi at 3.03%, Louisiana at 2.23%, Texas at 1.99% and Alabama at 1.97%.

There were 632,000 properties 90 days or more late but not yet in foreclosure for March, which was down by 65,000 from February but up by 43,000 from March 2017.

The total loan delinquency rate, defined as mortgages 30 days or more past due on their payments but not yet in foreclosure was 3.73%, down 13.24% from February but up 3.09% from last March.

The number of properties 30 days or more late on their mortgage but not yet in foreclosure was 1.9 million, down by 286,000 from the previous month and 81,000 from the prior year.

There are an additional 321,000 properties in the foreclosure presale inventory, a drop of 10,000 from February and 127,000 from March 2017.

The states with the largest percentage of delinquent and foreclosed loans were Mississippi at 9.45%, Louisiana at 7.76%, Florida at 7.15%, Alabama at 6.66% and West Virginia at 6.06%.