JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Jacksonville led the United States in foreclosures last month, according to the Florida Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

In July, Florida had the highest number of foreclosure filings and the highest state for foreclosure rate, according to the data.

Among the highest U.S. metro area rates, nine of the top 10 were in the Sunshine State, led by Jacksonville, then Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Ocala, and Palm Bay-Melbourne.

According to data from RealtyTrac, Florida posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month in July, with one in every 328 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. That was more than three times the national average.

Florida foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from the previous month and was up 7 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

Florida foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in 16 of the last 19 months, according to the data. Meanwhile, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 74 percent from a year ago and bank repossessions increased 13 percent from a year ago.

To view the full report on the economic overview for Florida, click here.