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California Accounts for One-Third of August Foreclosures

Foreclosure filings were reported on 101,724 California properties in August, one-third of the national total and the most of any state, according to RealtyTrac's August 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The state's foreclosure activity increased more than 40% from the previous month and more than 75% from August 2007.

According to RealtyTrac's report, California continued to document the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 130 households receiving a filing in August and Arizona registered the third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 households receiving a filing during the month.

California cities accounted for eight of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates out of the 230 metro areas tracked in the August report. Stockton was No. 1, with one in every 50 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, followed by Merced, Modesto, Vallejo-Fairfield and Riverside-San Bernardino in the Nos. 2-5 spots on RealtyTrac's list. Other California cities in the top 10 were Bakersfield, Salinas-Monterey and Sacramento in the Nos. 8-10 spots. California, Florida and Arizona together accounted for more than half of the nation's foreclosure activity.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Illinois and Indiana. Michigan, Georgia, Ohio and Colorado all reported annual decreases in foreclosure activity.

In all, RealtyTrac's August 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report revealed foreclosure filings were reported on 303,879 properties during the month, a 12% increase from the previous month and a 27% increase from August 2007. The report also shows one in every 416 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.

"In August the total number of U.S. properties that received foreclosure filings as well as the national foreclosure rate were both the highest we've seen in any month since we began issuing our report in January 2005. However, the annual increase of 27% was actually substantially lower than in previous months this year, when it was hovering around 50 to 65%," said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. "The lower annual percentage increase this month is due to a big spike in activity last August - particularly in default activity. Over the past few months we've seen annual increases in default activity and auction activity moderating, and that trend continued in August, with default activity up just 10% from a year ago and auction activity up 7% from a year ago."

With one in every 91 households receiving a foreclosure filing in August, Nevada continued to document the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the 20th consecutive month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 11,706 Nevada properties, a 16% increase from the previous month and an 89% increase from August 2007.

Florida posted the second highest total in August, with foreclosure filings reported on 44,000 properties during the month, a 4% decrease from the previous month but still up nearly 30% from August 2007. One in every 194 Florida properties received a foreclosure filing in August, the nation's fourth highest state foreclosure rate.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,333 Arizona properties in August, the nation's third highest state total. Arizona foreclosure activity was up 7% from the previous month and nearly 63% from August 2007.

Despite a nearly 13% annual decrease in foreclosure activity, Michigan documented the nation's fourth highest state foreclosure total in August, with foreclosure filings reported on 13,605 properties during the month.

Other states with total properties with foreclosure filings among the 10 highest were Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Georgia and New Jersey.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area dropped from the top spot in the metro foreclosure rate rankings in July to No. 6 in August thanks in part to a 3% dip in foreclosure activity. One in every 66 Cape Coral-Fort Myers households received a foreclosure filing in August, more than six times the national average.

Las Vegas registered the seventh highest metro foreclosure rate in August, with one in every 75 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. The metro area's foreclosure activity was up nearly 14% from the previous month and 83% from August 2007.