Money Wise

Hose Forclosures Soar


Home foreclosures soar in August, up 36% from July
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.,

said Tuesday.

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

years ago.

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

year-ago figure.

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.