U.S. Foreclosure Filings Rise 57 Percent in March

Irvine, Calif.–Bank repossessions more than doubled and U.S. foreclosure filings increased by 57 percent in March compared to 2007, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. said Tuesday.Influenced by increasing adjustable-rate mortgages and an increasing number of owners walking away from their troubled mortgages, foreclosure filings grew 5 percent from February, according to Bloomberg. Nevada, California and Florida had the highest foreclosure rates. Nevada had the highest U.S. foreclosure rate in March; California came in second, and Florida was third.One in every 538 U.S. households were in some foreclosure phase. Compared to last year, bank confiscations swelled by 129 percent, RealtyTrac said. More foreclosures may be on the way. Citigroup reports that roughly $460 billion of adjustable-rate mortgages are set to reset in 2008; auction notices increased 32 percent from 2007.”We’re not near the bottom of this at all,” Kenneth Rosen, chairman of Rosen Real Estate Securities LLC, a hedge fund in Berkeley, California and chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the University of California at Berkeley, told Bloomberg. “The foreclosure process will accelerate throughout the year.”