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Foreclosure Activity Decreases 7% in November, Still up 28% from 2007

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RISMEDIA, Dec. 11, 2008-RealtyTrac®, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its November 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportTM, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 259,085 U.S. properties during the month, a 7 percent decrease from the previous month but still up 28 percent from November 2007. The report also shows one in every 488 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November.

According to the company, RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with over 1.5 million properties from over 2,200 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal.

“Foreclosure activity in November hit the lowest level we’ve seen since June thanks in part to recently enacted laws that have extended the foreclosure process in some states, along with more aggressive loan modification programs and self-imposed holiday foreclosure moratoriums introduced by some lenders,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There are several indications, however, that this lower activity is simply a temporary lull before another foreclosure storm hits in the coming months.

“Delinquencies on loans not yet in the foreclosure process jumped to nearly 7 percent in the third quarter, a record high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association,” Saccacio continued. “And more than half of the homeowners who received loan modifications to reduce monthly mortgage payments in the first half of 2008 are already delinquent on their loans again, according to the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision. Many of these delinquencies could turn into foreclosures next year.”

Nevada, Florida, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates

Nevada foreclosure activity in November decreased nearly 4 percent from the previous month, but the state maintained the nation’s No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – more than six times the national average. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,962 Nevada properties, up 109 percent from November 2007.

Florida foreclosure activity in November was also down from the previous month, but the state’s foreclosure rate moved up to the No. 2 spot thanks to an even bigger monthly decrease in Arizona. One in every 173 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average.

With one in every 198 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, Arizona posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate in November despite a nearly 25 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,136 Arizona properties during the month, up nearly 128 percent from November 2008.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were California, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

California, Florida, Michigan post highest foreclosure totals

Foreclosure filings were reported on 60,491 California properties in November, the most of any state and a 6 percent increase from the previous month following two consecutive monthly decreases. The state’s foreclosure activity was up 51 percent from November 2007, and one in every 218 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month – more than twice the national average.

Despite a 9% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Florida continued to post the nation’s second highest number of properties with foreclosure filings – 49,190. The state’s foreclosure activity was still up 68 percent from November 2007.

Michigan foreclosure activity in November increased 28 percent from the previous month, giving the state 14,594 properties with foreclosure filings during the month – the nation’s third highest state total. Michigan’s foreclosure activity was up 27 percent from November 2007, and the state’s foreclosure rate ranked fifth highest in the nation for the month.

Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.

California and Florida cities account for nine of Top 10 metro foreclosure rates

With one in every 59 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., posted the highest metropolitan foreclosure rate among the 230 metro areas tracked in the report. Two other Florida cities ranked among the top 10 in terms of foreclosure rate: Fort Lauderdale at No. 7, with one in every 117 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Port Lucie-Fort Pierce at No. 8, with one in every 118 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Las Vegas was the only city not in Florida or California with a foreclosure rate that ranked among the top 10. One in every 61 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, the second highest metro foreclosure rate.

California accounted for the remainder of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates. Merced was at No. 3, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Modesto was at No. 4, with one in every 93 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Stockton was at No. 5, with one in every 94 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Riverside-San Bernardino was at No. 6, with one in every 107 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Bakersfield was at No. 9, with one in every 129 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Vallejo-Fairfield was at No. 10, with one in every 133 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month – broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed 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). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month or quarter. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month.

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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