May foreclosures marked the third straight month where the total number of foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000, according to the May 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac. Default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were reported on 321,480 U.S. properties, a decrease of 6% from April but an increase of nearly 18% from April 2008.

"Bank repossessions or REOs were up 2% thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York," said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws come to an end."

The top 10 states accounted for nearly 77% of foreclosure activity. California reported 92,249 properties with foreclosure filings in May, the highest total of any state, up 23% from a year ago. REOs in California were down 1% from April and defaults were down 18%, but scheduled auctions were up 18%.

Filings in Florida were down compared to April, but the state still posted the nation's second highest number of properties with foreclosures: 58,931, up 50% from May 2008.

Nevada documented 17,157 properties with filings, the third highest total of any state, up nearly 83% from May 2008. A 23% increase in REOs helped push Nevada foreclosure activity up 5% from April.

Rounding out the top 10 were Arizona (16,865), Michigan (13,891), Ohio (11,360), Illinois (10,942), Georgia (10,516), Texas (9,813) and Virginia (5,385).

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.