Foreclosure-related filings retreated last month from the record pace seen in April but remained above the 300,000 mark for the third month in a row, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today.

Some 321,480 homes were subjected to a notice of default, auction notice or bank repossession in May, down 6 percent from the month before but up 18 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac said.

The rate of foreclosure filings retreated from the record rate of one filing for every 374 homes registered in April, to one filing per 398 homes.

Not all homes subjected to foreclosure-related filings will end up back in the hands of lenders. Many homeowners who default on their loans or whose properties are scheduled for auction are able to refinance their loans or negotiate a loan modification or short sale.

RealtyTrac reported that notices of default and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from April to May, but that bank repossessions jumped 2 percent. The increase was largely attributable to "substantial increases" in real estate-owned properties (REOs) in Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York, RealtyTrac said.

In terms of raw numbers, 10 states accounted for nearly 77 percent of May’s foreclosure-related filings: California (92,249), Florida (58,931), Nevada (17,157), Arizona (16,865), Michigan (13,891), Ohio (11,360), Illinois (10,942), Georgia (10,516), Texas (9,813), and Virginia (5,385).

In California, notices of default were down 18 percent from April and bank repossessions were down 1 percent, but scheduled auctions were up 18 percent. Florida saw default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions decline from April to May, but bank repossessions surged 23 percent in Nevada.

With one foreclosure-related filing for every 64 housing units, Nevada had the highest rate of filings of any state in the nation — more than six times the national average of one filing per 398 homes. Nevada was followed by California (one filing per 144 homes), Florida (one in 148 homes), Arizona (one in 158 homes), Michigan (one in 326 homes), Georgia (one in 377 homes), Colorado (one in 436 homes), Idaho (one in 437 homes), and Ohio (one in 446 homes).

Las Vegas had the highest rate of foreclosure-related filings of any metro area — one filing per 54 homes. The rest of the top 10 metros with the highest rate of filings were located in California and Florida.

They were: Stockton, Calif. (one filing per 68 homes); Modesto, Calif. (one in 71 homes); Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (one in 75 homes); Merced, Calif. (one in 78 homes); Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (one in 82 homes); Bakersfield, Calif. (one in 94 homes); Orlando-Kissimmee (one in 101 homes); Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (one in 101 homes); and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. (one in 105 homes).


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