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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 7 Percent in July: RealtyTrac

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house_cnsmr_8_13RISMEDIA, August 13, 2009-RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, has released its July 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportTM, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 360,149 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of nearly 7 percent from the previous month and an increase of 32 percent from July 2008. The report also shows that one in every 355 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in July.

“July marks the third time in the last five months where we’ve seen a new record set for foreclosure activity,” noted James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we’re seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions.”

Nevada, California, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates
For the 31st consecutive month Nevada documented the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 56 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in July – more than six times the national average. Initial default notices (NOD) in Nevada decreased 18 percent from the previous month, likely the result of a new state law requiring lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure. The law took effect July 1. Meanwhile, scheduled auctions (NTS) and bank repossessions (REO) in Nevada both increased more than 20 percent from the previous month, boosting overall foreclosure activity in the state by 4 percent on a month-over-month basis.

Initial defaults (NOD) in California spiked 15 percent from the previous month, and the state registered the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate for the third month in a row. One in every 123 California housing units received a foreclosure filing in July, nearly three times the national average. Scheduled auctions (NTS) in California were down 1 percent from the previous month, but bank repossessions (REO) were up 4 percent – leaving overall foreclosure activity up nearly 7 percent on a month-over-month basis.

One in every 135 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing in July, the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate and more than 2.5 times the national average. Scheduled auctions (NTS), the first public record in the Arizona foreclosure process, jumped 25 percent from the previous month while bank repossessions stayed flat.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Florida, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Oregon.

Four states account for more than half of total foreclosure activity
The top four state foreclosure activity totals in July were reported by California, with 108,104 properties receiving a foreclosure filing; Florida, with 56,486 properties receiving a foreclosure filing; Arizona, with 19,694 properties receiving a foreclosure filing; and Nevada, with 19,535 properties receiving a foreclosure filing. Together these four states accounted for nearly 57 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity.

Although Florida bank repossessions (REO) decreased 8 percent from the previous month, the state’s overall foreclosure activity was still up 7 percent from the previous month because of a 9 percent month-over-month increase in both initial default notices (LIS) and scheduled auctions (NFS).

Illinois registered the fifth highest state foreclosure activity total, with 14,524 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Overall foreclosure activity in Illinois increased nearly 35 percent from the previous month, boosted by an 86 percent surge in default notices (LIS), which bounced back from low levels in May and June. A state law enacted April 5 gave delinquent borrowers an extension of up to 90 days before the start of the foreclosure process.

Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Texas (12,077), Georgia (11,136), Ohio (11,021), Michigan (8,257) and New Jersey (6,467).

Foreclosure activity in Michigan dropped 39 percent from the previous month, mostly due to a 66 percent decrease in scheduled auctions (NTS. A state law that took effect July 6 requires lenders – before scheduling a foreclosure auction – to provide delinquent borrowers a uniform default notice with contact information for approved housing counselors who can assist in loan modification. The law freezes foreclosure proceedings an extra 90 days for homeowners who commit to work on a loan modification plan.

Four states dominate top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Foreclosure filings were reported on 16,798 Las Vegas properties in July, one in every 47 housing units – more than 7.5 times the national average and the highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city’s foreclosure activity increased nearly 6 percent from the previous month and 89 percent from July 2008.

Seven California metro areas documented foreclosure rates among the top 10 in July. Stockton posted the nation’s second highest metro foreclosure rate – one in every 62 housing units received a foreclosure filing – followed by Modesto at No. 3 (one in 63), Merced at No. 5 (one in 66), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 6 (one in 67), Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 76), Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 8 (one in 83), and Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville at No. 10 (one in 105).

Other cities with top 10 metro foreclosure rates were Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., at No. 4, with one in every 64 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., at No. 9, with one in every 103 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Report methodology
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, 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. 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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