LOS ANGELES (AP) The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure surged in July.

According to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac, lenders repossessed nearly 93,000 properties last month, up 9 percent from June and an increase of 6 percent from July 2009.

July makes the eighth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis.

Meanwhile, homeowners who are falling behind on their payments are being allowed to stay in their homes longer because lenders are reluctant to add to the glut of foreclosed homes on the market.

RealtyTrac says the number of properties receiving an initial default notice rose 1 percent last month from June, but tumbled 28 percent versus July last year.

California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Arizona combined accounted for 50 percent of all U.S. households receiving foreclosure notices last month.


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