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Falling Foreclosures Forecasted to Rise

315,716 January foreclosures

Feb. 11, 2010

By staff

Despite a monthly decline in foreclosures, one forecast calls for an increase in filings during the near term.

January saw foreclosures filed on 315,716 U.S. properties, RealtyTrac reported today. The findings were based on data from more than 2,200 U.S. counties that account for more than 90 percent of the country's population.

Filings -- which included default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions -- dropped from 349,519 during December but climbed from 274,399 a year earlier.

"January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago: a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10 percent drop in January," RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said in the report. "If history repeats itself, we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months."

With 71,817 properties that faced foreclosure last month, California had the highest level of activity -- falling 11 percent from December. Florida followed with 47,069 foreclosures, then Arizona's 21,048. No. 4 Illinois came in at 18,120, and Michigan had 17,574 foreclosures.

South Dakota's 14 filings were the fewest of all 50 states.

The U.S. foreclosure rate worsened to one-in-409 households that faced foreclosure from one foreclosure filed on every 466 U.S. households during January 2009.

Nevada's one-in-95 rate last month was the worst in the nation. Arizona was next with a one-in-129 rate, followed by one-in-187 in both California and Florida, and one-in-231 in Utah.

At just one foreclosure for every 25,820 households, South Dakota had the most favorable rate.

By metropolitan area, the foreclosure rate was highest in Las Vegas: one-in-82. Phoenix; Modesto, Calif.; Stockton, Calif.; and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., rounded out the top five worst areas.

Real-estate-owned filing were 87,648 nationally, higher than 66,777 a in January 2009.

REOs were highest in California, where 17,001 were filed. Arizona's 8,637 repossessions were second-highest, and 6,169 in Florida was third-worst. No. 4 was Texas, at 6,036, followed by Illinois, at 5,996.

South Dakota's six REOs were the fewest of any state.

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