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Foreclosures plateau at new high

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The number of foreclosure-related filings on U.S. homes increased slightly from March to April, hitting a new high for the downturn, according to data aggregator RealtyTrac. The 342,038 foreclosure-related filings recorded by RealtyTrac in April represented an increase of less than 1 percent from March, but a 32 percent increase from the year before. The rate of filings -- one for every 374 homes -- represented a high dating back to January 2005, when RealtyTrac began reporting. Not every home subjected to a filing will ultimately be repossessed by lenders. RealtyTrac tracks public records generated as properties move through three phases of foreclosure -- default, notice of foreclosure sale, and repossession by lenders. RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James Saccacio said many properties subjected to filings in April were in the initial stages of foreclosure -- default and auction -- while bank repossessions were down on a monthly and annual basis to their lowest leve...