updated 8/21/2007 1:20:33 PM ET 2007-08-21T17:20:33

Foreclosure filings rose 9 percent from June to July and surged 93 percent over the same period last year, with Nevada, Georgia and Michigan accounting for the highest foreclosure rates nationwide, a research firm said Tuesday.

The filings include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. The figures are the latest measure of the ailing housing market, which has seen defaults and foreclosures soar as financially strapped borrowers have failed to make payments or find buyers.

In all, 179,599 foreclosure filings were reported during July, up from 92,845 in the year-ago month, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc.

A total of 164,644 foreclosure filings were reported in June.

The national foreclosure rate in July was one filing for every 693 households, the firm said.

“While 43 states experienced year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, just five states — California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia — accounted for more than half of the nation’s total foreclosure filings,” said RealtyTrac Chief Executive James J. Saccacio.

Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate: one filing for every 199 households, or more than three times the national average. It reported 5,116 filings during the month, an increase of 8 percent from June.

Georgia’s foreclosure rate was more than twice the national average, with one filing for every 299 households. The state reported 12,602 foreclosure filings, up 75 percent from June.

Michigan reported 13,979 filings in July, a 39 percent spike from June.

California, Florida, and Ohio were among the states with the highest number of foreclosure filings in July, the firm said.

California cities continued to dominate top metropolitan foreclosure rates.

The state reported 39,013 foreclosure filings last month, the most by any single state, but the number of filings rose less than 1 percent from June’s total.

The state’s foreclosure rate was one filing for every 333 households, RealtyTrac said.

Florida’s foreclosure filings fell 9 percent between June and July to 19,179. The July figure represents a 78 percent jump from a year ago.

RealtyTrac did not say if a single property received more than one notice. The company did not break out the exact property count.

In recent months, the mortgage industry has been battered by rising defaults and foreclosures, primarily driven by borrowers with subprime loans and adjustable rate mortgages.

Lagging home sales and flat or decreasing home prices have made it more difficult for homeowners who fall behind on payments to sell their homes and clear the debt, spurring the rise in foreclosure activity.

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