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3 Monthly Declines; 3 Million Foreclosures

332,292 filings in October

Nov. 12, 2009

By staff

Year-to-date foreclosure filings surpassed the 3 million threshold last month. But foreclosure activity has improved for thee months in a row.

Foreclosures were filed on 332,292 residential properties during October, RealtyTrac reported today. Filings fell from the prior month's 343,638 but climbed from 279,561 a year earlier.

It was the third consecutive monthly decline, which RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio called "unprecedented for our report." But Saccacio cautioned that lingering toxic mortgages, rising unemployment and deteriorating home equity will stall any real recovery in the real estate market.

Filings -- which included default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions -- totaled 3,087,868 year-to-date Oct. 31. The findings were based on data from more than 2,200 counties that account for over 90 percent of the U.S. population.

California saw the most properties face a foreclosure, with 85,420 during October easing from 86,337 the prior month. Florida followed, with 51,911 October filings; then Illinois, at 19,946; Michigan, with 16,468; and Nevada's 13,842.

Vermont saw the fewest foreclosures: 15.

October's U.S. foreclosure rate was one filing for every 385 households. The prior October, the rate was one foreclosure for every 452 households.

The worst foreclosure rate was in Nevada, where one property faced a foreclosure for each 80 housing units. California's one-in-156 rate ranked it second, followed by Florida's one-in-168, Arizona's one-in-200 and Idaho's one-in-255. Vermont boasted the best rate: one-in-20,762.

The Las Vegas market, which saw a 27 percent monthly decline in filings, had a one-in-68 rate -- the highest of any metropolitan area with at least 200,000 people. Seven of the 10 worst metropolitan areas were in California, and two were in Florida.

U.S. real-estate-owned filings were 77,077 last month, lower than 87,821 reported for September and 84,868 compared to a year ago. Year-to-date REOs reached 715,090 last month.

More California borrowers lost their homes to foreclosure in October than in any other state: 15,020.

No. 2 was Florida, which faced 6,892 repossessions, followed by Texas, where 4,552 REOs were filed, Michigan's 4,531 and Georgia's 4,434.

Vermont's 15 REOs also earned it the title of the state with the fewest REOs.

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