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Sharp Rise in Foreclosure Filings

205,990 foreclosure filings in May

June 14, 2012

By staff

After tumbling in April, foreclosure filings jumped back up last month. Hurt by deterioration in Georgia, the foreclosure rate worsened. But Nevada showed an improvement.

May saw 205,990 U.S. properties that were hit with a foreclosure filing -- including notices of default and lis pendens, notices of trustee's sale and foreclosure sale, and properties that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by the lender.

Activity deteriorated from 188,780 filings in April -- when the number of new filings declined to the lowest level since July 2007.

RealtyTrac said the data were gleaned from more than 2,200 U.S. counties.

The foreclosure listing service previously reported that 214,927 U.S. properties faced a foreclosure filing in May 2011.

"U.S. foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-basis for 20 straight months including May, but the jump in May foreclosure starts shows that it's going to be a bumpy ride down to the bottom of this foreclosure cycle," RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer Brandon Moore said in the report. "Based on the rise in pre-foreclosure sales we've seen so far this year, a higher percentage of these new foreclosure starts will likely end up as short sales or auction sales to third parties rather than bank repossessions going forward."

While year-to-date filings totaled 967,698, filings were made on some properties in more than one month this year.

Filings in California climbed to 42,243 from April's 39,008. California continued to dominate activity in all states.

No. 2 Florida saw filings rise to 26,412 in May from the previous month's 24,712.

Next was 16,318 filings in Illinois, 13,649 in Georgia and 11,466 in Texas.

The fewest filings of any state were in Vermont: 21.

205,990 foreclosure filings in May

One foreclosure was filed for each 639 U.S. housing units, worsening from one-in-698 during April but not as bad as one-in-605 in the year-earlier period.

With a rate of one foreclosure filed for each 300 homes, Georgia ascended to the worst position. Georgia wasn't even among the top-three states a month earlier. Hurting the state was Atlanta's one-in-224 rate -- the second-worst among all metropolitan statistical areas.

Nevada followed with a one-in-313 rate, though that was an improvement from one-in-300 during April -- when the Silver State topped the list.

After that was California, where the rate was one filing for each 324 housing units. Four of the country's 10 MSAs with the worst rates-- Riverside-San Bernardino, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- were in the Golden State.

Rounding out the top-five spots was Illinois, which had a one-in-325 rate. Chicago had the fourth-worst MSA rate: one-in-252.

The best rate could be found in Vermont: one filing for each 15,359 properties.

Servicers completed 54,844 U.S. foreclosures, during the latest month, more than April's 51,415 real-estate-owned filings. Repossessions totaled 66,879 in the same month last year.

Completed foreclosures amounted to 286,333 from Jan. 1 through May 31.

California dominated REO filings with 7,472 versus 6,579 the prior month.

Florida followed with 6,005 completed foreclosures, more than the 5,817 reported for the previous month.

No. 3 was Georgia, with 5,377 REO filings, then 3,603 in Illinois and 3,570 in Michigan.

Vermont's 21 repossessions were the fewest of any state.

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