- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The number of foreclosures nationwide increased by 32 percent compared to the same time last year and by 1 percent in April compared to the previous month, RealtyTrac said Wednesday.

The online company reported 342,038 foreclosures, which includes default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

RealtyTrac officials said the report shows one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in April, the highest monthly rate since the company started tracking them in January 2005.

Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said most of the foreclosures were in the initial default and auction stages, but bank repossessions were at their lowest level since March 2008.

“This suggests that many lenders and servicers are beginning foreclosure proceedings on delinquent loans,” he said. “It’s likely that we’ll see a corresponding spike … as these loans move through the foreclosure process over the next few months.”

Nevada, Florida and California were the states with the highest foreclosure rates.

One in every 68 housing units in Nevada receiving a foreclosure filing in April, despite an 18 percent decrease from the previous month, the company said.

The number was more than five times the national average. Las Vegas continues to have the highest foreclosure rate in metro areas. The city had 14,073 filings, despite a 20 percent decrease from the previous month.

Other states with high rates were: Ohio, 12,324; Georgia, 11,521; Texas, 11,314; Michigan, 10,830, and Virginia, 6,254.

The foreclosure rates in Illinois, Colorado and Ohio were below the national average.

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