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Foreclosure Filings Jump 7% Since Q409: RealtyTrac

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Foreclosure filings including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions rose 7% in Q110 over the previous quarter, according to online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac. In the quarter, 932,234 properties -- or on in every 138 US housing units -- received filings. During March alone, 367,056 properties received filings, 19% more than February and 8% more than the same time last year. Foreclosure activity followed a similar seasonal trend seen in the year-ago quarter, according to RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio. He noted a similar shallow trough in January and February followed by a "substantial" March spike. “One difference, however, is that the increases were more tilted toward the final stage of foreclosure, with REOs increasing 9% on a quarterly basis in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a 13% quarterly decrease in REOs in the first quarter of 2009," Saccacio said in a press statement. “This subtle shift in the numbers pushed REOs to the highest quarterly total we’ve ever seen in our report and may be further evidence that lenders are starting to make a dent in the backlog of distressed inventory that has built up over the last year as foreclosure prevention programs and processing delays slowed down the normal foreclosure timeline.” Default notices were reported on 304,799 properties during the quarter. Foreclosure auctions were scheduled on 369,491 properties during the quarter, the highest quarterly total in the history of the report. Bank repossessions also reached a record high for the quarter, with 257,944 properties repossessed by the lender during the quarter. Write to Diana Golobay.

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