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U.S. foreclosure activity rises in July

Thursday, August 14 08:19:38

Foreclosure activity across the United States jumped in July for the first time in four months as lenders scheduled more properties for auction, an industry report said on Thursday.

RealtyTrac, which compiles housing market data, said 109,434 properties across the country were in some stage of the foreclosure process, marking a 2 percent increase from June.

Despite the rise, foreclosure activity, which includes foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, was 16 percent below the year-ago level. It was the 46th consecutive month in which activity declined on an annual basis.

Decreasing foreclosure activity has helped undercut the supply of properties on the market, pushing prices up and slowing sales. Rising mortgage rates have also helped slow the housing recovery to a crawl.

Lenders reclaimed 25,937 properties in July, down 4 percent from June and 30 percent below the year-ago level.

A total of 51,595 properties were set for foreclosure auctions last month, a 10 percent rise from June but still 3 percent below last year's levels.

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 49,624 properties in July, up 5 percent from the prior month, but down 18 percent from the same time last year.

For the tenth straight month, Florida had the nation's highest foreclosure rate, followed by Maryland, Nevada and Illinois. (Reuters)

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