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Foreclosure Activity Increases 1 Percent in January 2011, According to RealtyTrac

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RISMEDIA, February 10, 2011—RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January 2011, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 261,333 U.S. properties in January, a 1% increase from the previous month, but a 17% decrease from January 2010. The report also shows one in every 497 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”

Foreclosure Activity by Type
A total of 75,198 U.S. properties received default notices (NOD, LIS) in January, a 1% decrease from the previous month and a 27% decrease from January 2010—the 12th straight month where default notices decreased on a year-over-year basis. January was also the fourth straight month where default notices decreased on a month-over-month basis, giving it the lowest monthly total for default notices since July 2007.

Default notices in states with a non-judicial foreclosure process (NOD) increased less than 1% from the previous month, but were down 8% from January 2010, while default notices in states with a judicial foreclosure process (LIS) decreased 2% from December and were down 39% from January 2010.

Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled for the first time on a total of 108,002 U.S. properties in January, a 4% decrease from the previous month and a 13% decrease from January 2010. It was the lowest monthly total for scheduled foreclosure auctions since February 2009.

Scheduled non-judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) decreased 1% from December and were down 3% from January 2010, while scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions (NTS) decreased 14% from the previous month and were down 39% from January 2010.

Lenders foreclosed on 78,133 U.S. properties in January, up 12% from the previous month, but still down 11% from January 2010. Bank repossessions (REO) in non-judicial foreclosure states increased 23% from December, but were still down 9% from January 2010, while bank repossessions in judicial foreclosure states decreased 7% from the previous month and were down 16% from January 2010.

Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure rates
Nevada bank repossessions increased 16% from the previous month, helping the state maintain the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 49th straight month—despite month-over-month decreases in default notices and scheduled auctions. One in every 93 Nevada housing units received a foreclosure filing in January—more than five times the national average.

One in every 175 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing in January, the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate. Arizona foreclosure activity increased 16% from the previous month—driven by a 54% month-over-month increase in REOs—but was still down 25% from January 2010.

California REO activity increased 32% from the previous month, and the state posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 200 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Idaho posted the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 241 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, while Utah posted the nation’s fifth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 265 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

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

Five states account for more than 50 percent of national total
With 67,072 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, California accounted for more than 25% of the national total in January. After hitting a 25-month low in November, California foreclosure activity has increased on a month-over-month basis for two straight months.

Florida foreclosure activity decreased on a month-over-month basis for the fourth straight month, but the state’s 21,671 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in January—a 42-month low—was still the second highest in the nation.

Michigan foreclosure activity increased for the second straight month, and the state posted the nation’s third highest total, with 16,716 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in January.

Arizona posted the nation’s fourth highest total, with 15,757 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, whileTexas posted the nation’s fifth highest total, with 14,897 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest in January were Illinois (13,164), Georgia (12,772), Nevada (12,263), Ohio (8,924) and New Jersey (5,526).

Top 10 metro rates in Nevada, California and Arizona, while Florida metros drop
With one in every 82 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in January, the Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metro area maintained the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Las Vegas foreclosure activity decreased nearly 13% from the previous month and increased less than 1% from January 2010.

The other Nevada metro area in the top 10 was Reno-Sparks, at No. 5 with one in every 132 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Seven California metro areas posted foreclosure rates in the top 10, led by Modesto, at No. 2 with one in every 111 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Stockton, at No. 3 with one in every 114 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, at No. 4 with one in every 120 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. Other California metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 6 (one in 135 housing units); Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 143); Merced at No. 9 (one in 149); and Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville at No. 10 (one in 151). Sacramento was the only California metro area in the top 10 to report increasing foreclosure activity on a month-over-month and year-over year basis.

With one in every 143 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in January, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area posted the nation’s eighth highest metro foreclosure rate.

No Florida cities showed up in the top 20 metro foreclosure rates in January. In contrast, the state accounted for nine of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates in 2010.

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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