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Foreclosure Activity Remains at Record Levels in April

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RISMEDIA, May 14, 2009-RealtyTrac, one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its April 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportTM, which shows foreclosure filings-default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions-were reported on 342,038 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of less than 1% from the previous month and an increase of 32% from April 2008. The report also shows that one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in April, the highest monthly foreclosure rate ever posted since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

“Total foreclosure activity in April ended up slightly above the previous month, once again hitting a record-high level,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Much of this activity is at the initial stages of foreclosure-the default and auction stages-while bank repossessions, or REOs, were down on a monthly and annual basis to their lowest level since March 2008. This suggests that many lenders and servicers are beginning foreclosure proceedings on delinquent loans that had been delayed by legislative and industry moratoria. It’s likely that we’ll see a corresponding spike in REOs as these loans move through the foreclosure process over the next few months.”

Nevada, Florida, California post top state foreclosure rates
Despite an 18% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Nevada continued to post the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in April, with one in every 68 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing-more than five times the national average. The decrease in Nevada was driven largely by a 44% drop in bank repossessions from the previous month, although default notices also decreased from the previous month. Total foreclosure activity in Nevada was up 111% from April 2008.

A 37% month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity boosted Florida’s foreclosure rate to second highest among the states in April. One in every 135 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month, more than 2.7 times the national average. The monthly increase in Florida was driven by a spike in default notices and auction notices, but bank repossessions were down 7% from the previous month. Total foreclosure activity in Florida was up 75% from April 2008.

Foreclosure activity in California decreased 10% from the previous month, but the state still posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate in April, with one in every 138 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Total foreclosure activity in California was up 42% from April 2008.

Arizona posted the fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 164 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in April, and Idaho posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 255 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in April.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Utah, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio-although the foreclosure rates in Illinois, Colorado and Ohio were below the national average.

Top 10 states account for more than 75 percent of total U.S. foreclosure activity
The 10 states with the most properties with foreclosure filings in April accounted for more than 75% of the national total. California documented the highest total (96,560), followed by Florida (64,588), Nevada (16,266) and Arizona (16,245).

Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,647 Illinois properties in April, the nation’s fifth highest state total. Illinois foreclosure activity decreased 11% from the previous month but was still up 54% from April 2008. With one in every 384 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the state’s foreclosure rate ranked eighth highest in the country but was still below the national average.

Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Ohio (12,324), Georgia (11,521), Texas (11,314), Michigan (10,830) and Virginia (6,254).

Las Vegas continues to post top metro foreclosure rate
Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,073 Las Vegas properties in April, a 20% decrease from the previous month, but the city continued to post the highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. One in every 56 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month-nearly seven times the national average.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second highest foreclosure rate in April, with one in every 57 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure activity increased 31% from the previous month in Cape-Coral-Fort Myers. Two other Florida metro areas also documented foreclosure rates in the top 10: Miami at No. 9 and Orlando at No. 10.

With one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, Merced, Calif., posted the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate. Five other California metro areas also documented foreclosure rates in the top 10: Modesto at No. 4, Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 5, Bakersfield at No. 6, Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 7, and Stockton at No. 8.

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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