A log jam of Arkansas residential properties that had been backed up in the pipeline iss starting to break loose. The result has been evident in an uptick in filings of foreclosures.

May is the latest month for which figures are available and the data from RealtyTrac.com shows that there were nearly 165 new filings in Benton County alone. That represents a 122 percent increase over the same month in 2012. In addition, the filings in Benton County represented 19 percent of all filings for the state.

Statewide, the data shows that there were 848 filings in May. That’s a 109 percent rise over May last year. Arkansas was one of only eight in the country that saw foreclosure actions increase by at least double digits. Northwest Arkansas is reported to be the hotbed area. One in four foreclosure filings came from that region last month.

Market watchers say that is not unexpected considering that region’s larger population. They say one reason for the surge in the state is that properties that had been held up for a variety of reasons and have been vacant have finally cleared hurdles. That, and probably the general improvements in the economy, has prompted lenders to begin putting the homes back on the market.

Foreclosure is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone faced with the prospect. Most often the conditions that prompt such action have developed outside the homeowner’s control. A job has been lost. Health issues have developed that have sparked huge medical bills.

Anyone who is dealing with such circumstances owes it to themselves to explore all their options before taking any action. It may be that a filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be possible. If you are eligible for such protection, foreclosure proceedings underway or threatened can be stopped in their tracks.

Source: The City Wire, “Foreclosure filings surge in May,” Kim Souza, June 13, 2013