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Record number of U.S. homes repossessed

IRVINE, Calif., July 15 (UPI) -- Banks repossessed a record number of U.S. homes in the second quarter, but defaults and auctions dropped, a real estate data company said Thursday.

Banks took back control of 269,962 properties in this year's second quarter, a new quarterly high, up 5 percent from the previous quarter and 38 percent higher than last year's second quarter, RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif., said in its midyear 2010 foreclosure report.

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One in every 78 U.S. housing units was subject to at least one foreclosure filing between January and June, RealtyTrac said. This adds up to 1.65 million properties and will likely top 3 million households by the end of the year, the firm said.

A foreclosure filing includes a default notice, auction-sale notice and bank repossession.

Default and auction notices were down on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis in the second quarter, RealtyTrac said.

The states with the highest foreclosure rates in this year's first six months were Nevada, Arizona and Florida. One in 17 properties were targeted for foreclosure in Nevada, 1 in 30 in Arizona and 1 in 32 in Florida.

Locally, the number of Detroit foreclosures set a record for the first six months, surging 35 percent from the same period last year, RealtyTrac said.

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In addition, houses selling for less than what's owed on the mortgage rose 171 percent to 2,284 units from 842 the same six months last year, southeastern Michigan property data services firm Realcomp II Ltd. reported.

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