The number of foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- reported during September nearly doubled compared with year-ago filing volume
, according to RealtyTrac's monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The report found that a total of 223,538 foreclosure filings were reported during the month, down 8 percent from the 32-month high in the previous month, but double the number reported in September 2006.
In spite of the month-to-month drop, the September 2007 figure is the second-highest recorded since RealtyTrac began tracking foreclosure filings.
"U.S. foreclosure activity experienced a fairly broad-based retreat in September, with 39 states reporting decreasing activity and national numbers down in all foreclosure categories -- defaults, auctions and bank repossessions," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer.
"Nevertheless, it's important to note that September's total was still the second highest monthly total we've seen since we began issuing our report in January of 2005. It's too early to tell if September's numbers represent a one-month lull or if they could signify that more buyers and investors are getting back in the market and snatching up discounted foreclosure properties, thereby providing a release valve for distressed homeowners and overwhelmed lenders."
RealtyTrac distinguishes between foreclosure rates, which are calculated relative to the number of households in a state, and foreclosure totals, which represent a simple count of total volume of filings.
For the ninth month in a row, Nevada reported the highest foreclosure rate among the states -- one foreclosure filing for every 185 households -- despite an 11 percent drop in foreclosure activity from the previous month. The state reported 5,504 foreclosure filings for the month, still up 187 percent from September 2006, RealtyTrac said. Other states posting high foreclosure rates included Florida, California, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia.
In terms of raw volume, Ohio's foreclosure total of 15,709 came in third highest behind the totals in California and Florida. The state's foreclosure activity decreased 12 percent from the previous month but was still up 131 percent from September 2006.
Illinois was the only state among the top 10 states in terms of total foreclosure filings that registered a month-to-month increase in foreclosure activity in September. The state reported 8,257 foreclosure filings for the month, up 33 percent from the previous month and the nation's seventh highest state total.
It's also worth noting that California now is home to the nation's largest inventory of REO.
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