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Foreclosure filings hit new highs

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Foreclosure-related filings on U.S. homes during the first three months of the year were up 9 percent from the previous quarter and 24 percent from a year ago, surpassing previous highs for the current downturn, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today. The 803,489 properties subject to some kind of foreclosure filing during the first quarter -- including default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions --  marked a record high since RealtyTrac began reporting in January 2005. Not all homes that enter the foreclosure process are repossessed by lenders, and RealtyTrac said bank repossessions were down 13 percent from the previous quarter. The latest numbers from RealtyTrac cover January through March, and lenders and loan servicers began implementing the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program only this month. The program is aimed at helping as many as 9 million homeowners refinance their loans or negotiate more affordable terms. But the pace of fili...