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Foreclosures rising in most major cities

Foreclosures have increased in most major U.S. cities.

Foreclosures have increased in most major U.S. cities.

A new report from RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure activity has risen in 65 percent of major U.S. cities - continuing to open up bargain opportunities for moving families.

The sharpest increases, however, were not seen in the states most often associated with high foreclosures, according to the report. The largest jump in foreclosure activity was seen in the Seattle market, which saw third-quarter foreclosures skyrocket 71 percent compared with 2009.

"The underlying problems that are causing homeowners to miss their mortgage payments - high unemployment, underemployment, toxic loans and negative equity - are continuing to plague most local housing markets," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

Despite a drop of more than 20 percent compared with last year, the pace of Las Vegas foreclosures continued to lead the nation, with one in every 25 housing units receiving at least one filing during the third quarter. The highest raw number of foreclosures was seen in Miami, Florida, with more than 58,000.

Due to the recent controversy surrounding them, officials say that the uncertainty over the status of foreclosures could drive a continued drop in home prices. Speaking at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Phyllis R. Caldwell, chief of the homeownership preservation office at the Treasury Department, told lawmakers that the controversy could delay the recovery of the housing market.