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REOs Improve

Foreclosure

Repossessions by U.S. servicers fell in August and were down from a year earlier. New foreclosure filings also were lower than in July.

Servicers filed foreclosure actions on 358,471 properties last month, RealtyTrac reported today. Activity eased from the record 360,149 new filings in July but stood above 303,879 in August 2008.

The findings were based on data collected from more than 2,200 counties that account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. Activity included notices of default and Lis Pendens, notices of trustee sale, and notices of foreclosure sale and repossessions.

Year-to-date through Aug. 31, the number of properties facing foreclosure totaled 2,411,938.

California continued to see more filings than any other state: 92,326. But filings in the Golden State declined 15 percent from July.

Florida’s 62,401 filings were next, followed by Michigan’s 19,359, Nevada’s 17,902 and Arizona’s 17,807.

North Dakota’s 33 filings were the fewest of any state.

The U.S. foreclosure rate was one filing for every 357 housing units, better than one-in-355 U.S. properties during July but worse than one-in-416 a year ago.

At one foreclosure for each 62 housing units, Nevada’s rate was the worst. The rate in Las Vegas was one-in-53 — higher than any other major metropolitan area.

Florida followed with a one-in-140 rate, then California’s one-in-144 level. Arizona was next with one in 150, and Michigan’s one in 234 was fifth.

The lowest rate, one-in-9,437, was in Vermont.

Real estate owned filings from all states were 76,134 during August, better than 87,258 in July and 90,893 in August 2008. So far this year, 550,192 U.S. REOs have been filed.

REOs were highest in California, where lenders repossessed 14,590 properties. Florida saw 6,446 REO filings, while 5,161 were filed in Michigan. Arizona’s 4,977 ranked it fourth, and No. 5 was Texas, where 3,773 REOs were filed.

North Dakota also saw the fewest REOs: 15.

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