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Foreclosure Filings Down 3%, RealtyTrac Reports

Foreclosure activity slipped 3 percent in November when compared to the previous month, but filings at various stages of the process showed starkly different movements, according to ""RealtyTrac's"":http://www.realtytrac.com latest market report.

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Scheduled auctions hit a nine-month high following the default surge that began in August. At the same time, RealtyTrac says REO activity is at a 44-month low.

Total foreclosure filings â€" reported on 224,394 U.S. properties in November â€" are down by double-digits from a year ago, but RealtyTrac doesn't view the numbers as the making of a trend.

James Saccacio, co-founder of RealtyTrac, says the 14 percent year-over-year decline in filings last month is the smallest annual decrease recorded over the past year, and he points out that some bellwether states such as California, Arizona, and Massachusetts actually posted increases in foreclosure activity from November 2010.

""Despite a seasonal slowdown similar to what we've seen in each of the past four years, November's numbers suggest a new set of incoming foreclosure waves, many of which may roll into the market as REOs or short sales sometime early next year,"" Saccacio said.

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Default notices (NOD, LIS) were filed for the first time on a total of 71,730 U.S. properties in November. Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled on 96,540 properties during the month, and lenders repossessed (REO) a total of 56,124 homes.

Nevada posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the 59th straight month. Filings rebounded 3 percent in November from a 45-month low in October, when a new law was passed altering the foreclosure process in the state. One in every 175 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing last month, more than three times the national average.

Scheduled trustee's sales in California hit a 10-month high in November, helping the state maintain the nation's second highest foreclosure rate. A total of 26,509 trustee's sales were scheduled in California last month, up 14 percent from November 2010 - the first year-over-year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions in the Golden State since March 2010.

Arizona foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis in November for the first time since October 2010. With filings up 4 percent from a year earlier, Arizona posted the nation's third highest foreclosure rate for the fifth month in a row.

Substantial monthly increases in foreclosure activity in Utah and Georgia lifted those states' foreclosure rates into the nation's top five in November. Utah's foreclosure rate ranked No. 4 thanks to a 74 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity. Georgia saw a 23 percent increase in filings, giving it the No. 5 spot.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and South Carolina. South Carolina cracked the top 10 for the first time since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in 2005.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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