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The number of Americans losing their homes rose sharply in July. There were 179,599 foreclosures in the month, 93% more than July last year. The figure was also 9% higher than that recorded in June. RealtyTrac, which tracks the information on foreclosures said Tuesday California, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia accounted for more than half of the July cases.

A foreclosure occurs when a borrower defaults on a loan. The process typically begins when a lender files a lawsuit against the borrower and takes possession of the borrower’s home. The home is then put to auction and sold to the highest bidder. Borrowers with sub-prime loans have been particularly hard hit.

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