Foreclosures Reach All-Time High, Study Finds

Rates show little sign of improvement

Foreclosures in August reached an all-time high according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosed properties. Foreclosures were up 25% over August 2009 to 95,364 properties, a 3% increase over July, the company reported September 16. August's record is 2% higher than the previous peak in May 2010 of 93,777 foreclosures.

This is the ninth consecutive month that bank repossessions have increased on a year-over-year basis, according to RealtyTrac.

Overall, foreclosure activity increased 4% from July, but fell 5% from August 2009. Default notices fell 1% between July and August, and fell 30% from August 2009, continuing a seven-month trend of falling default notices on a year-over-year basis.

"The trend lines of decreasing default notices and increasing bank repossessions converged in August, with virtually the same number of new default notices and bank repossessions for the month -- a clear indication that the clogged foreclosure pipeline is being carefully managed on both ends by lenders and servicers," James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a press release.

RealtyTrac notes that while the national rate for default notices is falling, some states, including California, New York, Indiana, Ohio and Florida, reported an increase. California reported its third consecutive month of increased default notices.

Nevada has had the nation's highest foreclosure rate for almost two years at 4.5 times the national average. Florida, Arizona, California and Idaho round out the top five. California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Arizona account for more than 50% of the national total.

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