Banks repossessed an estimated 1 million homes in 2010, the worst year since the mortgage crisis began in four years ago.
Analysts have prediced 2011 will be even worse. Some expect it will mark the bottom of the real estate collapse.
"2011 is going to be the peak," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc.
One in 45 households received a foreclosure filing last year, which is the equivalent of 2.9 million homes. That figure rose 1.67 percent from 2009.
RealtyTrac reported in December, 257,747 homes received at least one foreclosure notice, which was the lowest monthly total in 30 months. The number of notices dropped 1.8 percent from November and 26.3 percent from December 2009.
Foreclosures are projected to remain high though the year as homeowners deal with unemployment, tougher credit standards for refinancing and falling home values.