With bank stock prices doubling and in some cases tripling in 2012 and the pressure from regulators off, it's time for the big banks to go after all those homeowner who haven't been able to make their payments. question is? was the harp program designed to help homeowners in trouble or make more profit for the banks?

Foreclosure-related filings inched back up in half of U.S. states at the end of 2012, RealtyTrac reports. Most of the 25 states–except for five–that saw increases are judicial states, where foreclosures must be OK’d by the courts before being approved. 

The six largest annual increases in 2012 for foreclosure filings were New Jersey (up 55 percent), Florida (up 53 percent), Connecticut (up 48 percent), Indiana (up 46 percent), Illinois (up 33 percent), and New York (up 31 percent). 

Many of these states faced big backlogs in foreclosure filings due to lengthy processes. For example, New York had the longest foreclosure process averaging 1,089 days, followed by New Jersey (987 days) and Florida (853 days). 

The increase in foreclosure activity in several markets “should translate into more foreclosure inventory available for sale in 2013 in those markets," says Daren Blomquist with RealtyTrac. "That is good news for buyers and investors, but could result in some short-term weakness in home prices as the often-discounted foreclosure sales weigh down overall home values" in those markets.

Foreclosure-related filings reached 1.84 million in 2012, down 3 percent from 2011 and 36 percent below the peak reached in 2010.