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August Foreclosure Filings Rise 115% from Year Ago

U.S. foreclosure filings rose 36% in August from July and 115% from a year ago, hit by declines in once-hot housing markets such as California, Nevada and Florida, according to a report released Tuesday.

A home is advertised for sale at a foreclosure auction in Pasadena, California.
Reed Saxon
A home is advertised for sale at a foreclosure auction in Pasadena, California.

RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report found the number of foreclosure filings in August -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- was 243,947, the highest since it began its monthly report in January 2005, just months before the housing boom peaked.

That translates into one foreclosure filing in August for every 510 households, also a high for the RealtyTrac report.

"The jump in foreclosure filings this month might be the beginning of the next wave of increased foreclosure activity, as a large number of subprime adjustable rate loans are beginning to reset now," James Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive, said in statement.

The number of bank repossession filings rose dramatically, pumping up the month's foreclosure numbers, Saccacio said.

Nevada Tops the List

Nevada again posted the highest state foreclosure rate, with one filing for every 165 households. The state reported 6,197 foreclosure filings in August, a 21% rise from July and more than triple the number reported in August 2006.

California's foreclosure rate jumped to the second highest among states, with a 48% month-on-month spike in foreclosures. The state reported 57,875 foreclosure filings in August, or one for every 224 households, more than twice the national average.

Florida's foreclosure activity jumped 77% from the previous month, with the foreclosure rate jumping from seventh highest to third highest. Florida reported 33,932 foreclosure filings, one for every 243 households.

Rounding out the top 10 for foreclosure rates were Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Indiana.

In terms of absolute numbers of foreclosure filings, after California and Florida, Ohio registered the third-highest state total, with 17,793 foreclosure filings in August, or one in every 281 households.

Texas, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois and Nevada all reported more than 10,000 foreclosure filings for the month.

California accounted for six of the top 10 metro area foreclosure rates in August. Modesto was hardest hit, with one foreclosure for every 79 households, followed by Stockton and Merced. Other California cities in the top 10 included Vallejo-Fairfield, Riverside-San Bernardino, and Sacramento.

Detroit saw one foreclosure filing for every 87 households, giving it the fourth-highest metro foreclosure rate, which was more than five times the national average. Also in the top 10 were Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Las Vegas, and Cleveland.

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.