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Foreclosures Begin to Level Off, According to RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report; Activity Decreases 9 Percent in April

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RISMEDIA, May 13, 2010— RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for April 2010, which shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 333,837 properties in April, a 9 percent decrease from the previous month and a 2 percent decrease from April 2009. One in every 387 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“There were two important milestones in the April numbers that show foreclosure activity has begun to plateau — but at a very high level that will not drop off in the near future,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “April was the first month in the history of our report with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity. Secondly, bank repossessions, or REOs, hit a record monthly high for the report even while default notices dropped substantially on a monthly and annual basis. We expect a similar pattern to continue for most of this year, with the overall numbers staying at a high level and ripples of activity hitting the various stages of the foreclosure process as lenders systematically work through the backlog of distressed properties.”

Foreclosure Activity by Type
During the month a total of 103,762 properties received default notices (NOD, LIS), a decrease of 12 percent from the previous month and a decrease of 27 percent from April 2009 when default activity peaked at more than 142,000.

Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled for the first time on a total of 137,643 properties during the month, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous month when auction activity peaked with more than 158,000 properties scheduled for auction for the first time. Auction activity was up 1 percent from April 2009.

Bank repossessions (REOs) hit a record monthly high for the report in April, with a total of 92,432 properties repossessed by lenders during the month, an increase of 1 percent from the previous month and an increase of 45 percent from April 2009. Bank repossessions were less than 1 percent above their previous peak of 92,182 in December 2009.

Nevada, Arizona, Florida post top state foreclosure rates in April
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 40th straight month, with one in every 69 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in April — more than five times the national average. A 57 percent monthly increase in REO activity pushed the state’s overall foreclosure activity up 10 percent from the previous month, but overall foreclosure activity was statistically unchanged from April 2009.

Arizona foreclosure activity decreased nearly 15 percent from the previous month, but the state’s foreclosure rate moved from third highest in March to second highest in April thanks to an even bigger decrease in California. One in every 169 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing in April — more than twice the national average.

Florida posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, despite monthly and annual decreases in foreclosure activity.

California posted the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 192 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Utah posted the nation’s fifth highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 221 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in April were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado.

Five states account for more than 50 percent of national total
California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Nevada accounted for 52 percent of the national total. California led the way, with 69,725 properties receiving a foreclosure filing — although that total was down 25 percent from the previous month and down nearly 28 percent from April 2009.

Florida foreclosure activity was down 18 percent from the previous month and down 25 from April 2009, but the state still documented the nation’s second highest state foreclosure activity total, with 48,384 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

An 8 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity boosted Michigan’s total to third highest among the states in April. A total of 19,173 Michigan properties received a foreclosure filing during the month, up 77 percent from April 2009.

Illinois foreclosure activity increased nearly 33 percent from the previous month, the nation’s seventh biggest month-to-month increase, and the state’s 18,870 properties receiving a foreclosure filing was the fourth highest total among all states.

A total of 16,217 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing in April, the fifth highest total among the states.

Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest were Arizona (16,088), Georgia (13,963), Texas (13,133), Ohio (11,936), and Virginia (7,065).

Nine of 10 top metro areas report annual decreases in foreclosure activity
Metro areas in the sand states of Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona continued to account for all top 10 foreclosure rates among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, but foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis in nine of those top 10 metros.

Reno-Sparks, Nev., was the only metro area in the top 10 to report increasing foreclosure activity on an annual basis. A total of 1,614 properties in the metro area received foreclosure filings in April, an increase of 16 percent from April 2009 and one in every 112 housing units — the nation’s seventh highest metro foreclosure rate.

Las Vegas continued to document the highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 60 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, despite a 3 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from April 2009.

Foreclosure activity in Modesto, Calif., decreased 32 percent from April 2009, but the metro still posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 101 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Other California cities in the top 10 were Merced at No. 3 (one in every 104 housing units); Stockton at No. 5 (one in 108); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 6 (one in 110); Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 8 (one in 117); and Bakersfield at No. 9 (one in 120).

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., posted the fourth highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 105 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale posted the 10th highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 136 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 entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. 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). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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