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Foreclosures hammer Sun Belt states

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Metro areas in four Sun Belt states accounted for the top 20 foreclosure rates in the nation last year, according to a report this week by foreclosure data company RealtyTrac. Nine of those cities were in California, eight were in Florida, two were in Nevada, and one was in Arizona. RealtyTrac's Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report analyzed foreclosure properties in metro areas with more than 200,000 people. The nation as a whole posted a total of more than 2.82 million foreclosure filings, or 2.21 percent of all housing units. Foreclosure activity also showed signs of spreading to previously insulated Utah, Illinois, Oregon and Idaho, the report said. "While it was expected that cities from states with the highest levels of foreclosure activity would top the charts, there is evidence that we're entering a new wave of foreclosures, driven more by unemployment and economic hardship than what we've seen over the past few years," said James J. Saccacio, CEO of Re...