Banks seized more than 45,000 homes in January, nearly double the number from a year ago and up 8% from December, Bloomberg reports. Rising adjustable-rate mortgage payments were the culprit. Total foreclosure filings, which include default and auction notices in addition to seizures, increased 57% to 233,001, the sixth consecutive month with more than 200,000 filings.
California led the nation in January foreclosures filed; 57,158 properties were in danger of being seized, up 120% over a year ago and 7% higher than in December. Next in line were Florida, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Colorado. RealtyTrac said 642,150 foreclosures were filed in the quarter, and CitiGroup said $460 billion of ARMs would reset in 2008.