By Alex Veiga, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — The number of foreclosure filings in the U.S. last month
more than doubled from August 2006 and jumped 36% from July, a trend
that signals many homeowners are increasingly unable to make timely
payments on their mortgages or sell their homes.
Once again, Ohio was among the states with the highest foreclosure rates.
Nationwide, 243,947 foreclosure filings were reported in August, up 115%
from 113,300 in the same month a year ago, RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif.,
There were 179,599 foreclosure filings reported in July.
The filings include default notices, auction sale notices and bank
repossessions. Some properties might have received more than
one notice if the owners have multiple mortgages.
August's total represents the highest number of foreclosure filings
in a single month since the company began tracking filings two
The national foreclosure rate last month was one filing for every 510
households, the company said.
"The jump in foreclosure filings this month might be the beginning
of the next wave of increased foreclosure activity, as a large number
of subprime adjustable rate loans are beginning to reset now," RealtyTrac
Chief Executive James J. Saccacio said.
The mortgage industry has been rocked by a surge in defaults,
particularly among borrowers with subprime loans and adjustable-rate
mortgages that initially had attractive "teaser" interest rates but
then adjust upward.
Many of the loans, some of which adjust in as little as two years,
were issued in 2005 and 2006, at the height of the housing boom.
Lagging home sales and flat or falling home prices have also left
homeowners hard-pressed to find buyers.
The latest figures also reflect an increase in the number of homes
going into foreclosure that are not being picked up in estate sales
and are ending up going back to lenders.
The number of bank repossessions jumped to 42,789 in August,
compared with 20,116 a year earlier, the RealtyTrac said. In July,
there were 26,842 bank repossessions.
Nevada, California and Florida had the highest foreclosure rates
in the country last month, the firm said.
Nevada reported one foreclosure filing for every 165 households
— more than three times the national average. The state had 6,197
filings in August, up 21% from July and more than triple the
California's foreclosure rate was one filing for every 224 households.
The state reported the most foreclosure filings of any single state,
with 57,875, up 48% from July and more than 300% above August
Florida had one foreclosure filing for every 243 households. The state
reported 33,932 foreclosure filings, up 77% from July and more than
twice the year-ago total.
Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Indiana
rounded out the 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates.