More than 430,000 foreclosure filings were reported nationwide in the first quarter, up 27% from those of the previous quarter and 35% from a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace based in Irvine, Calif.The nation's quarterly foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 264 households was the highest since RealtyTrac began issuing its report 27 months ago, the company said in its 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. (Foreclosure filings include default notices, auction sale notices, and bank repossessions.) "The rise in foreclosure activity was quite dramatic and widespread in the first quarter, with 37 out of the 50 states reporting year-over-year increases," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "Certainly the surge in subprime defaults has contributed to the overall rise in foreclosures -- we estimate that more than 50% of the foreclosure activity we charted in the first quarter was from subprime loans. However, it's not just low-end homes that are going into foreclosure. We're seeing a rising percentage of foreclosures with an estimated market value of more than $750,000." The company can be found online at http://www.realtytrac.com.

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