While lenders took back fewer homes last month, the number of properties that entered the foreclosure process in February increased 10 percent from the previous month, RealtyTrac said.
The monthly gain was the first after three monthly declines. So-called foreclosure starts were down 25 percent from February 2012, with Nevada, New York, Washington and 13 other states posting annual increases.
Overall, Florida posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate, which RealtyTrac measures by tracking the number of properties with foreclosure-related filings. One in every 282 households in the state received at least one filing, or more than three times the national average.