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More Than 2.2 Million Foreclosure Filings on Nearly 1.3 Million Properties Reported

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RISMEDIA, Jan. 30, 2008–RealtyTrac®, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released year-end data from its 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 2,203,295 foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 1,285,873 properties nationwide during the year, up 75% from 2006. The report also shows that more than 1% of all U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during the year, up from 0.58% in 2006.

A total of 215,749 foreclosure filings were reported in December, up 97% from December 2006 and bringing the fourth-quarter total to 642,150 filings on 527,740 properties – up 1% from the previous quarter and up 86% from the fourth quarter of 2006.

“The year ended with a monthly increase of 7 percent in December, making it the fifth straight month with more than 200,000 foreclosure filings reported and giving the fourth quarter the highest quarterly total we’ve seen since we began issuing our report in January 2005,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It also pushed the foreclosure filing total for 2007 well over 2 million. And while filings were up 75 percent, the number of properties in some stage of foreclosure was up 79 percent, indicating that some properties may have just entered the initial stage of foreclosure in 2007 and could be going through the rest of the foreclosure process in 2008 – unless lender and government intervention efforts begin to gain more traction.”

Top annual foreclosure rates

Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for 2007, with 3.4% of its households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year – more than three times the national average. The state documented the highest monthly foreclosure rate in all 12 months of the year. For the year a total of 66,316 foreclosure filings on 34,417 properties were reported in Nevada, an increase of more than 200% in total filings from 2006.

With more than 2% of its households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year, Florida documented the second highest state foreclosure rate for 2007. A total of 279,325 foreclosure filings on 165,291 properties were reported in the state during the year, more than twice the number of filings reported in 2006. The state’s foreclosure filing total in December was up 275% from December 2006, and its fourth quarter total was up 211% from the fourth quarter of 2006.

Michigan documented the nation’s third highest state foreclosure for 2007, with 1.9% of its households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year. A total of 136,205 foreclosure filings on 87,210 properties were reported in the state during the year, a 68% increase in total filings from 2006. Michigan foreclosure activity dipped 17% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, but its December foreclosure filing total was still up more than 70% from December 2006.

California, Colorado, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Illinois and Indiana all posted foreclosure rates among the nation’s top 10 in 2007, and all these states documented more than 1% of their households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year.

Highest foreclosure filing totals

With a total of 481,392 foreclosure filings on 249,513 properties during the year, California documented the highest number of foreclosure filings and the most properties in some stage of foreclosure in 2007. The state’s total foreclosure filings more than tripled from 2006, and the state’s 2007 foreclosure rate – 1.9% of its households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year – ranked fourth highest among the states. California foreclosure filings were down 3% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter despite a 33% spike in December, but total foreclosure filings in the fourth quarter were still nearly three times the number reported in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Florida tallied the second highest totals, both in terms of foreclosure filings and properties entering some stage of foreclosure in 2007. (See above for more details on Florida.)

Ohio’s total foreclosure filings, 153,196, and total properties entering some stage of foreclosure, 89,979, both ranked third highest among the states for 2007. The state’s foreclosure filings increased 88% from 2006, and its 2007 foreclosure rate was the nation’s sixth highest, with 1.8% of the state’s households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year. Ohio’s took a high ranking for the year despite a dip in foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter, when foreclosure filings decreased 2% from the previous quarter. The state’s December foreclosure filings were down 26% from the previous month but still up 64% from December 2006.

Other states with foreclosure filing totals among the top 10 were Texas, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.

Report methodology

The RealtyTrac 2007 Year-End U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides the total number of foreclosure filings nationwide and by state, along with the total number of unique addresses entering some stage of foreclosure and percentage of total households entering some stage of foreclosure (foreclosure rate). Data is also available at the individual county level.

The household numbers are based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005 estimates of total housing units. Foreclosure filings include foreclosure-related documents in all three phases of foreclosure: Default – Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction – Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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