Foreclosures Rise 18%

Foreclosures on the RiseThe epidemic of foreclosures is rising, according to newly released figures from RealtyTrac, despite a slight slowdown in activity during the month of May. Year over year foreclosures rose 18%.

Foreclosure filings, including default notices, scheduled auctions and Notices in the Foreclosure Epidemicbank repossessions were reported on 321,480 properties during the month, a decrease of 6% from April. The drop apparently developed as a result of moratoriums on foreclosures by the nation’s largest banks and mortgage companies.

“While defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions, or REOs were up 2% thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoriums implemented by various state laws come to an end.”

Unfinished Homes due to Foreclosure EpidemicTen states represent 77% of foreclosure filings, according to the report. Foreclosures are forecast to rise through the remainder of the year by Housing Predictor as a result of the financial crisis and the tight money supply. Nevada continued to document the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 64 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

With one in every 144 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, California posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate despite a 4 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month. Florida posted the third highest foreclosure rate with one in every 148 housing units receiving a filing during the month.

Arizona posted the fourth highest foreclosure rate in May, with one in every 158 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Utah posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate with one in every 316 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

California reported 92,249 properties with foreclosure filings in May, the highest total of any state and up nearly 23 percent from May 2008. Bank repossessions in California were down 1% from the previous month and defaults were down 18%, but scheduled auctions were up 18%.

Default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in Florida were all down from the previous month, but the state still posted the nation’s second highest number of properties with foreclosure filings at 58,931, which was up 50 percent from May 2008.

Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Arizona (16,865), Michigan (13,891), Ohio (11,360), Illinois (10,942), Georgia (10,516), Texas (9,813) and Virginia (5,385). The top 10 states accounted for nearly 77 percent of total properties with foreclosure filings nationwide.