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Foreclosures down for third straight month as lenders manage backlog: RealtyTrac

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Foreclosure filings in August fell 5% from a year ago, the third straight month of declines, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace. The last time foreclosure filings increased was a 1% uptick in May, when 322,920 properties received either a default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession. Since then, foreclosures have dropped 6.9% in June, and 10% in July. In August, 338,836 properties received a foreclosure filing, which is a 4% increase from July but still down 5% from last year. James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, said default notices and bank repossessions were nearly equal in August, an indication that lenders are carefully managing the clogged foreclosure pipeline. "On the front end, seriously delinquent loans are rolling into foreclosure at an unusually slow rate, while on the back end the dammed-up inventory of properties already in foreclosure is moving to REO in steady stream rather than a flood — presumably to prevent further erosion of home prices," Saccacio said. Nevada still holds the highest foreclosure rate in the country. There, one in 84 properties received a filing in August. Florida notices fell 46% from last year but still held the second highest foreclosure rate in the country. In Arizona, one in 165 properties had a foreclosure filing, the third highest. California foreclosures accounted for 20% of the national total in August with more than 69,000 receiving a foreclosure filing in the month. It's a 9% drop from last year. On the metro level, the previous foreclosure hotspots continue to lead the way but are trending down. In Las Vegas, one in every 73 properties received a filing in August, a 25% drop from last year but still the highest in the country. Modesto, Calif. filings were second. There, one in every 95 properties received a filing. Six other California metro areas were in the top-10. Write to Jon Prior.

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