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Home Foreclosures Double In 2nd Quarter

Home foreclosure filings more than doubled in the second quarter of 2008 from a year ago, according to real estate data released Friday by RealtyTrac Inc.

Nationwide, 739,714 households — one in every 171 — received at least one foreclosure-related notice from April to June, as soft housing sales, declining home values, tighter lending standards and a sluggish U.S. economy left many homeowners with few options.

Nevada, California, Arizona and Florida continued to have the highest foreclosure rates. One in every 43 Nevada households received a filing during the quarter.

Cities in California and Florida accounted for 16 of the 20 worst metro foreclosure rates. Stockton, Calif., had the worst rate, with one in every 25 homes in the town receiving a foreclosure filing.

Economists estimated 2.5 million homes nationwide will enter the foreclosure process this year, up from about 1.5 million in 2007.

The latest numbers come as Congress is considering a housing rescue bill that would aid struggling homeowners and provide liquidity for mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Also on Friday, the government released data showing sales of new homes fell in June for the seventh time in the past eight months. The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes dropped by 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units, following a 1.7 percent fall in May.

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