Foreclosure filings up 90 percent

IRVINE
June 13, 2007 6:12am
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•  Central Valley cities lead the nation

•  ‘Foreclosure activity roared back with a vengeance’


There were 176,137 foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – nationwide last month, nearly 90 percent from May 2006 and up 19 percent from the previous month, according to a monthly report from Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc., an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

The national foreclosure rate last month was one foreclosure filing for every 656 households.

But several Central Valley cities have that beat.

A 49 percent increase in foreclosure activity ensures that Stockton, continues to register the highest metropolitan foreclosure rate in the nation, according to RealtyTrac. Stockton reported one foreclosure filing for every 88 households -- nearly 7.5 times the national average.

Merced has the second highest metro foreclosure rate -- one foreclosure filing for every 100 households, followed by Modesto, with one foreclosure filing for every 118 households.

Other California metros in the nation’s top 10 are Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 5, Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 6, and Sacramento at No. 7.

"After a barely perceptible dip in April, foreclosure activity roared back with a vengeance in May," says James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "Such strong activity in the midst of the typical spring buying season could foreshadow even higher foreclosure levels later in the year. Certainly not every community nationwide is seeing an increase in foreclosures, but foreclosed properties are becoming more commonplace and adding to the downward pressure on home prices in many areas."

California foreclosure activity increased 30 percent from the previous month and more than 350 percent from May 2006, boosting the state's foreclosure rate to third highest in the country, according to RealtyTrac’s figures.

California documented one foreclosure filing for every 308 households, more than twice the national average, the foreclosure tracking company says.

Nevada registered a May foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 166 households -- the nation's highest for the fifth month in a row and nearly four times the national average. The state reported a total of 5,235 foreclosure filings during the month, a 40 percent increase from the previous month and nearly five times the number reported in May 2006, according to RealtyTrac.

Colorado documented the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate, one foreclosure filing for every 290 households -- 2.3 times the national average, RealtyTrac says. The state reported 6,321 foreclosure filings, a nearly 9 percent increase from the previous month and an increase of more than 50 percent from May 2006. The state's foreclosure total was eighth highest among the states.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest in May were Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana and Connecticut.

For the fifth straight month California reported the most foreclosure filings of any state, with 39,659 in May. Florida reported 21,704 foreclosure filings, the second biggest state total. Foreclosure activity in Florida increased 52 percent from the previous month and 144 percent from May 2006, raising its foreclosure rate to one foreclosure filing for every 336 households -- fourth highest among all the states.

RealtyTrac says it bases its numbers on documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default -- Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction -- Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (those that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).


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