The rate of new foreclosure filings in Maryland far exceeded any other state's this spring, a spike caused in large part by the national robo-signing legal settlement that unleashed a flood of new cases.

Almost 20 in every 1,000 home loans in Maryland -- twice the national average -- were drawn into the foreclosure process during April, May and June, according to survey data released Thursday by the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association.

"If you look at what's going on in foreclosure starts, Maryland now has exceeded Florida, has exceeded Georgia -- some of the states that have been up there at the top in terms of the percent of loans on which foreclosure actions have started," said Jay Brinkmann, the trade group's chief economist.

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