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Foreclosures were up 87 percent nationwide in June, but a closer look reveals not all markets are awash in default notices, auctions and bank buy backs.

Foreclosures fell by double digits in nearly a dozen of the 100 metro areas tracked by RealtyTrac.com in its recent 2007 Midyear MSA Report with provides foreclosures by metropolitan statistical area for the first six months of 2007, compared to the first and last six months of 2006.

Reduced levels of foreclosures -- the first half of 2007 compared to the first half of 2006 -- largely favored towns in the south and Texas including Greenville, SC (down 66 percent); Little Rock, AR (down 39 percent); McAllen/Edinburg, TX (down 35 percent); Charleston, SC (down 23 percent) and Oklahoma City, OK (down 22 percent).

Elsewhere, foreclosure rates dropped from the first half of 2006 to the first half of 2007 by 39 percent in Salt Lake City, UT; 38 percent in Albuquerque, NM and 22 percent in Pittsburg, PA.

Foreclosures in the report includes defaults -- Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); auctions -- Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).

Unfortunately, the general trend remains escalating foreclosure rates, with 82 of the top 100 metro areas reporting year-over-year increases in the number of homes affected by foreclosure.

California and Ohio cities accounted for 10 of the top 20 foreclosure rates with 1 filing for every 27 homes in Stockton, CA, during the first half of 2007.

Stockton's foreclosure count has risen 256 percent from the number in the first half of 2006 to the same period this year. Comprised of San Joaquin County, in California's Central Valley produce producing hub, the Stockton metro area yielded 8,169 foreclosure filings on 4,239 properties (properties with filings), triple the number reported in the first six months of 2006.

The "foreclosure filings" number is the total number of foreclosure notices filed during a given time period. This number includes up to three documents that can be filed against a property during the course of a foreclosure: default notice; auction notice; and bank repossession, according to Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac spokesman.

The "properties with filings" is the number of properties that had at least one foreclosure notice filed against them, he added.

Motown had the second highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas -- one foreclosure filing for every 29 households. The Detroit, MI, metro area, comprised of Wayne County, reported 28,705 foreclosure filings on 20,231 properties, a 26 percent increase from the previous six-month period and nearly double the number reported in the first six months of 2006.

Sin City documented the third highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, with one foreclosure filing for every 31 households during the first half of 2007. The Las Vegas metro area, which comprises Clark County, reported 22,928 foreclosure filings on 13,028 properties, a 72 percent increase from the previous six-month period and more than twice the number reported in the first six months of 2006.

Other cities in the top 10 for foreclosure filings were Riverside-San Bernardino, Bakersfield, and Sacramento, CA; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Memphis, TN and Cleveland, OH.

The cities with the most number of properties facing foreclosure filings were Chicago, IL (23,988); Atlanta, GA (22,412); Riverside, CA (22,291); Los Angeles, CA (20,288); and Detroit (20,231).

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