California and Florida were home to seven of 10 metropolitan areas with the highest rate of foreclosure activity during the third quarter, according to data aggregator RealtyTrac Inc.

Stockton, Calif., and Detroit, Mich., retained their places atop RealtyTrac’s list of the metropolitan areas with the highest rate of default notices, notices of auction sales and bank repossessions, while Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., bumped Las Vegas out of third place.

With one foreclosure-related filing for every 31 households, the rate of foreclosure activity in Stockton was more than six times the national average of one filing per 196 households.

That doesn’t mean one of every 31 homes in Stockton is in foreclosure, however, because properties may be subject to multiple filings during the foreclosure process. But the rate of foreclosure-related filings in Stockton was up 31.6 percent from the previous quarter, and has more than quadrupled in the last year.

Entering the list of top 10 metro areas with the highest rates of foreclosure activity during the third quarter were Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which climbed from 11th to fourth place, and Oakland, Calif. which gained nine positions to 10th place.

Memphis, Tenn., and Denver, Colo., dropped off the top 10 list, with Denver falling from sixth place to 12th, and Memphis settling into 14th place, down from ninth place during the second quarter.

Although 77 of the top 100 metro areas saw an increase in third-quarter foreclosure filings, “there continue to be pockets of the country — most noticeably metro areas in the Carolinas, Virginia and Texas — that have thus far dodged the foreclosure bullet,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a statement accompanying the release of the latest numbers.

Half of the 10 metro areas with the lowest rates of foreclosure activity were in South Carolina (Greenville, Columbia and Charleston) and Virginia (Richmond and Norfolk).

In terms of the raw number of foreclosure-related filings, Riverside-San Bernardino topped the list, with 31,661 filings against 20,664 properties. Los Angeles had the second-highest number of filings — 29,501 lodged against 18,043 properties — but ranked 26th in filings per household.

Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami and Sacramento rounded out the list of 10 metro areas with the greatest raw numbers of foreclosure-related filings.

In reporting foreclosure filings by state earlier this month, RealtyTrac identified Nevada, California and Florida as having the highest rates of foreclosure activity, followed by Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Texas (see Inman News story).

Foreclosure Activity for the Nation’s 50 Largest MSAs — Q3 2007

Source: RealtyTrac Inc.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to matt@inman.com, or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 150.

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