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Foreclosure surprise: 10 fastest-growing problem cities are newcomers

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Rebecca Cook/Reuters

(Read caption) The abandoned home (in the foreground) in Detroit was one of nearly 9,000 properties listed on the county auction block last week. Detroit is one of the cities where, despite a foreclosure rate that's 50 percent higher than the national average, the situation appears to be stabilizing.

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Just about everyone has become familiar with America's foreclosure capitals – metropolitan areas like Las Vegas with the nation's highest rate of foreclosed properties (1 in 20) or No. 2 Merced, Calif., (1 in 27).

But the problem is expanding to new cities. In fact, as the subprime-mortgage crisis eases for some of the top metro areas, like Merced and No. 3 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., economic pressures are creating new foreclosure capitals. One of them, Reno-Sparks, Nev., broke into the Top 10 foreclosure metros in the third quarter, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday. And others are gaining fast.

"These are places that were on no one's radar screen a year ago," says Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace based in Irvine, Calif. Now, stressed by rising unemployment and the resetting of exotic mortgages, their foreclosure numbers are skyrocketing.

Take Reno-Sparks. It saw its total foreclosures jump 80 percent over the past year. Its 2.7 percent foreclosure rate is now the ninth-highest in the nation and thus makes it our No. 1 fast-growing foreclosure capital (click on the chart above for the entire list).

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