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May foreclosure filings soar 90%; more housing woes likely

U S foreclosure filings surged 90 percent in May from a year earlier as more homeowners fell behind on their monthly mortgage payments, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

There were 176,137 notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions last month, led by California, Florida, and Ohio, the Irvine, Calif. -based seller of foreclosure data said in a report yesterday. The median price for a U S home slid 1.8 percent the first three months of 2007 as the housing slump entered its second year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The filings rose 19 percent from April.

A jump in foreclosures at a time of year that traditionally is the busiest for home sales means the slide in prices probably isn't over, said James Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac. Typically, more than half of all home sales occur in the April to June period, according to Freddie Mac, the number two mortgage buyer.

Ranked by the number of foreclosure filings, California topped the list, with 39,659 in May, and Florida was number two, with 21,704. Ohio was number three for the third consecutive month, with 13,214 filings.

Taking into account the number of homes, Nevada was the number one state, with one filing for every 166 households. Colorado was second, with one for every 290 households, followed by California, Florida, and Ohio, and Arizona.

Michigan ranked number eight, with one foreclosure filing for every 448 households, Connecticut was number 10 and Massachusetts was number 11.