Real Estate

Foreclosures: No relief in sight

July foreclosures nearly double from last year; industry group raises forecast for more.

By Les Christie, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- The flood of foreclosure filings showed no sign of let-up in July, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosure properties.

179,599 foreclosure filings, which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions, were reported nationwide for a 9 percent rise over the previous month and a 93 percent jump compared with July, 2006.

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This past winter, RealtyTrac had forecast a 33 percent increase in U.S. foreclosures for the year but now it's raised its outlook. "It's trending to close to 2 million now, 60 percent more than last year," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president for marketing.

Moody's is even more pessimistic with its forecast of some 2.5 million defaults for the year.

"While 43 states experienced year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, just five states - California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia - accounted for more than half of the nation's total foreclosure filings," James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac said in a statement.

Nevada, at one filing per every 199 households, had the highest rate of any state, but California where one in every eight Americans lives, had the most numerically - a total of 39,013 and one for every 333 households. That was nearly four times higher than a year ago.

California had six of the top 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates led by Stockton, which was second only to Detroit among metro areas, Merced was third, Modesto fourth, Vallejo-Fairfield fifth, Riverside-San Bernardino eighth and Sacramento ninth.

Florida had the next highest total among the states, 19,179, or one for every 431 households. Georgia, at one for every 299 households, had the second highest rate.

Seven states, led by Utah, recorded year-over-year declines in filings. Utah had just 485, one for every 1,800 households and 58.3 percent fewer than in July, 2006. Oklahoma, down 34.4 percent, New Mexico, down 26.9 percent, and Rhode Island, down 18.8 percent, also had substantial drop-offs.

Saccacio said, "Some of these states could be benefiting from increased interest from real estate investors who have pulled out of more volatile markets where home price appreciation seems to have hit its peak." Top of page