The Southwest led the nation in foreclosures in 2006, according to ForeclosureS.com, a Fair Oaks, Calif.-based investment advisory firm.California, Colorado, and Texas were among the hardest-hit states in the region, with California topping the list at 157,417 foreclosure filings, up 94.3% from the previous year's level, the company reported. Colorado recorded 68,310 foreclosure filings last year, up 55.4%, while Texas recorded 106,845 filings, up 35.2%. Nationally, 970,948 filings were reported in 2006, up more than 50% from about 641,000 in 2005. Alexis McGee, president of the firm, said she believes the worst is over. "Home inventories are now dropping, and markets are improving," Ms. McGee said. "That means relief to overextended homeowners who bought homes they couldn't afford with the help of little money down and low-teaser-rate mortgages." The company can be found online at http://www.foreclosures.com.

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