The number of properties completing the foreclosure process and becoming bank-owned declined in August, but a record number of homes entered the foreclosure pipeline, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today.

The report shows there is still an "ample supply" of properties in the foreclosure pipeline, even as the outflow of real estate-owned (REO) properties onto the resale market is more carefully regulated, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a press release.

The number of properties completing the foreclosure process and becoming bank-owned declined in August, but a record number of homes entered the foreclosure pipeline, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today.

The report shows there is still an "ample supply" of properties in the foreclosure pipeline, even as the outflow of real estate-owned (REO) properties onto the resale market is more carefully regulated, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a press release.

The 76,134 properties that became bank-owned in August represented a 13 percent decline from the high for the year seen in July — 87,258 — and a 16 percent decline from a year ago.

But a record 138,224 properties entered the foreclosure process in August when they were subjected to notices of default or lis pendens, up 3 percent from July and a 16 percent increase from a year ago. The number of properties subjected to auction notices in August — 144,113 — was also a new record, rising 4 percent from July and 53 percent from a year ago.

Thanks to the decline in REO properties, the total number of homes RealtyTrac was following through the foreclosure process declined by 1 percent from July to August, to 358,471, although that number represents an 18 percent increase from a year ago.

Nevada had the highest rate of foreclosure-related filings in August (one for every 62 homes), followed by Florida (1 in 140), California (1 in 144), Arizona (1 in 150), Michigan (1 in 234), Idaho (1 in 241), Utah (1 in 282), Colorado (1 in 329), Georgia (1 in 332) and Illinois (1 in 401). By comparison, one in every 357 U.S. homes was subjected to a foreclosure-related filing in August.

In terms of raw numbers, California had the greatest number of foreclosure-related filings (92,326), followed by Florida (62,401), Michigan (19,359), Nevada (17,902), Arizona (17,807), Illinois (13,078), Georgia (11,947), Ohio (11,368), Texas (11,261) and New Jersey (8,316). …CONTINUED

Six states — California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona and Illinois — accounted for 62 percent of all foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac said. The number of properties becoming REO dropped in all six states — including a 32 percent decline in California, a 15 percent drop in Illinois, and an 11 percent decrease in Nevada.

At the metro level, one in 53 homes in Las Vegas, Nev., was subjected to a foreclosure-related filing, the highest rate of any metro area with a population of at least 200,000. The Reno-Sparks, Nev., metro area also made the list of top 10 metro foreclosure rates, with one in 86 homes hit with a foreclosure-related filing.

The remaining eight cities on the top 10 metro foreclosure rate list were in California and Florida.

In California, Stockton had the nation’s second-highest metro foreclosure rate (1 in every 74 homes subjected to a foreclosure-related filing), followed by Merced (1 in 78), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (1 in 80), Vallejo-Fairfield (1 in 82), Modesto (1 in 84), and Bakersfield (1 in 94).

In Florida, the Orlando-Kissimmee metro area made the top 10 with one in every 87 homes subjected to a foreclosure-related filing, along with Cape Coral-Fort Myers (1 in 88), RealtyTrac said.

There are three major milestones in the foreclosure process — an initial notice of default from the lender, a scheduled auction, and repossession by the lender. Not all homes that begin the foreclosure process are sold at auction or taken back by lenders, as some borrowers are able to refinance their loans or negotiate loan modifications or short sales with lenders.

The Obama administration, which hopes its Making Home Affordable refinancing and loan modification programs will help as many as 9 million borrowers avoid foreclosure, released a report yesterday that was touted as evidence that loan servicers will hit a target of modifying 500,000 loans by Nov. 1 (see story).

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