RTTNews - Foreclosure activity slipped 6 percent in May, after a record-breaking month in April. Over 321,000 properties received a foreclosure filing in May, up over 18 percent from a year ago.

Although there was a year over year increase, it was small in comparison to the 2007 - 2008 increases of over 50 percent. Overall the number was lower thanks in part to a 24 percent year over year decrease in the bank repossession, or REO category. However, default notices were up 9 percent and scheduled auctions up a whopping 78 percent.

321,480 properties received a default notice or were foreclosed on last month, RealtyTrac Inc. said, translating to one in every 398 homes.

RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio explained that the more states likely report REOs on the rise in the coming months, due to the expiration of state laws that delayed the foreclosure process.

While defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions, or REOs, were up 2 percent thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York, Saccacio said. We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws and individual lenders come to an end.

REO's have been slipping over the past nine months after they hit a peak of 90,000 in August.

Despite the 6 percent decline, May was the third month in a row filings have been over 300,000, and are likely to hit a record 1.8 million in the first six months of 2009.

State by state, Nevada had the highest rate at one out of every 64 homes. It was followed by California, at one out of every 144 households.

Closely following California was Florida, with one in 148 households. Arizona ranked fourth with one in 158 and Utah was fifth with one filing per 316 households.

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