U.S. home foreclosures jumped in May to 261,255, a 48% increase from May 2007, according to RealtyTrac's latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which measures default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. Last month's total is up 7% from April.

One in every 483 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in May, according to the report, the highest monthly rate since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

"May was the third straight month where we've seen a month-to-month increase in foreclosure activity and the 29th straight month where we've seen a year-over-year increase," says James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. "Bank repossessions continued to surge in May — posting a double-digit percentage increase from the previous month and more than twice the number reported in May 2007 — which pushed the total inventory of bank-owned REOs in our database to more than 700,000."

The nationwide rate of increase for default notices and foreclosure auction notices actually slowed in May, with default notices up just 1% from April and auction notices down 3%.

Nevada, California and Arizona reported the highest foreclosure rates. In Nevada, which posted the highest state foreclosure rate for the 17th consecutive month, one in every 118 households – a total of 9,009 Nevada properties - received a foreclosure filing in May. That's an increase of nearly 24% from April and 72% from May 2007.

California foreclosure activity in May increased 11% from the previous month and 81% from May 2007, helping the state continue to register the nation's second highest state rate. One in every 183 California households received a foreclosure filing during the month, a rate that was 2.6 times the national average. Arizona's May foreclosure rate — one in every 201 households received a foreclosure filing during the month — ranked third highest among the states for the second month in a row. Arizona foreclosure activity increased nearly 12 percent from the previous month and almost 119 percent from May 2007.

RealtyTrac publishes a national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with more than 1.5 million properties from more than 2,200 counties nationwide.

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