NEW ORLEANS — The number of Louisiana homeowners threatened by foreclosure dropped a bit last month from January, but 456 homes in the state were still taken back by lenders, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

That’s according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosures nationwide.

In February, 1,563 housing units were targeted by some foreclosure action from an initial notice of loan default to outright repossession. RealtyTrac said those actions hit one in every 1,257 housing units in the state.

The rate fell 16 percent from January, but was up 9.8 percent in February 2011. The state was ranked 29th in foreclosure actions.

RealtyTrac says Nevada, California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida had the top five highest foreclosure rates in the United States.