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Foreclosures Move Higher, Again; REO Volume Up 90 Percent Nationally

The home foreclosure train isn't slowing down yet. The number of foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sales notices and bank repossessions -- rose 8 percent on a monthly comparison basis during January, with 233,001 properties recording some form of foreclosure action during the month. Forty-eight percent of filings represented new borrower defaults, indicating that troubles in the nation's housing markets have yet to recede. January's totals represent an increase of nearly 57 percent from year-ago levels, according to data released Tuesday by property listing service RealtyTrac. REO properties in total increased 90 percent versus last January. "January’s foreclosure numbers demonstrate that foreclosure activity is continuing on its upward trend, substantially increasing from a year ago in many states," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "However, the 8 percent monthly increase in January is not as precipitous as the 19 percent spike we saw in January of 2007, and several key states actually experienced decreasing foreclosure activity from the previous month." Saccacio said that effort by the Bush adminstration and industry officials to stem the tide of foreclosures may be beginning to take effect, in spite of the monthly increase. "The big question is whether those efforts are truly helping homeowners avoid foreclosure in the long term or if they are just temporarily forestalling the inevitable for many beleaguered borrowers,” he said.
Jan2008 Foreclosures
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Boom to bust Nevada, California and Florida all posted the top foreclosure rates relative to statewide population during January, with Nevada documenting the highest rate in the nation. Foreclosure filings were reported on a total of 6,087 Nevada properties during the month, a 45 percent decrease from the previous month but still a 95 percent increase from January 2007. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan, RealtyTrac said. California, however, was home to by far the most foreclosure volume; the Golden State recorded foreclosure filings on a total of 57,158 properties in California in January. Florida, with a total of 30,178 properties with at least one filing, ranked a distant second. Notes The state with the most REO? Not surprisingly, California, with 10,528 properties in banks' possession, according to the report ... the largest montly percentage increase for overall foreclosure activity sits with the state of Delaware, although the state only reported a total of just 173 total foreclosure actions during the month ... surprisingly, Texas ranks second in REO volume, ahead of both Michigan and Ohio, both of which are traditionally heavy in REO listings. For more information, visit http://www.realtytrac.com.

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