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Majority of Cities Saw Foreclosure Activity Increase in Third Quarter

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sixty-five percent of the nation’s cities saw foreclosure filings increase in the past year.  That's according to new data released Thursday by RealtyTrac, which shows foreclosure filings for 200,000+ metro areas across the country during the third quarter of the year.

As has been the case for some time, the highest rates of foreclosure are in cities in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

Ground zero for foreclosure activity continues to be Las Vegas, with one in 25 homes there subject to some type of foreclosure-related filing during the July to September time period.

Of note, nine of the top-10 metros for foreclosure activity saw foreclosure filings drop in the past year, but that trend is confounded when you look at the balance of the list.

In aggregate, more than 930,000 properties received some sort of foreclosure filing, down about one percent from the 2009 third quarter numbers, according to RealtyTrac. However, that slight reduction on the national level doesn’t mean the foreclosure crisis is abating.

The recent foreclosure sales moratoria are likely going to affect the broader residential real estate market in the fourth quarter, and possibly beyond.

Also, the underlying reasons for foreclosure have yet to be adequately addressed.  Unemployment and underemployment are at the root of many of the missed payments that are keeping millions of Americans from paying their home loans on time.

“The underlying problems that are causing homeowners to miss their mortgage payments -- high unemployment, underemployment, toxic loans and negative equity -- are continuing to plague most local housing markets,” said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. “And these historically high foreclosure rates will continue until those problems are resolved.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio