|Foreclosures filed and completed reached a quarterly record.
During the first quarter, U.S. pre-foreclosure filings were 604,590, ForeclosureS.com reported today. The latest activity was the "highest quarterly level" ever. Pre-foreclosures were 528,241 in the prior quarter and 515,411 in the first-quarter 2008.
Pre-foreclosures were most pronounced in Florida, where 292,513 first-quarter filings were made. California saw 228,768 pre-foreclosures, while 77,438 were reported for Arizona and 56,222 were filed in Illinois. At 51,551 first-quarter pre-foreclosures, Nevada was No. 5.
First-quarter repossessions were 369,649, rising from a revised 266,986 repossessions in the fourth-quarter 2008 and 210,280 in the first-quarter of last year.
"The first-quarter 2009 total is the highest quarterly total of completed foreclosures since the foreclosure crisis began," the report said.
California led the nation with 130,855 real estate owned filings during the latest quarter, followed by Florida's 77,542 REOs and 53,928 repossessions in Arizona. No. 4 Texas saw 40,080 REOs, and No. 5 Michigan had 37,367.
Pre-foreclosure filings reached 225,131 during just March, increasing from February's revised 212,703.
California saw the most March filings, with 59,763 pre-foreclosures. Florida had 51,985 and Arizona saw 15,477. Pre-foreclosure filings in Nevada were 13,081, followed by 11,130 in Illinois.
ForeclosureS.com attributed the rise in March to the expiration of various foreclosure moratoria, though the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is expected to at least partially offset the accumulated backlog.
Foreclosures completed during March were a record 175,199, jumping from 121,756 in February.
The No. 1 state in REO activity last month was California, which had 38,318 filings. Florida was next, with 18,946 REOs, then Arizona, at 15,401. Michigan held the No. 4 spot in March, with 11,138 REOs, followed by Texas, at 9,140.