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Date: 10/23/2008
Authors: William Heisel

News Bite

Home Foreclosures Hit Record High in California

A record 79,511 homes were lost to foreclosure in California over the last three months, up 228% from last year. MDA DataQuick reported that more homes were taken back by lenders in the three months ended Sept. 30 than at any time since the company started tracking foreclosures in 1992.

In the previous three months, which also set a record, 63,316 homes were lost to foreclosure. Nationally, RealtyTrac Inc. reported that the number of homes being repossessed was up 126% over the last three months, totaling 250,091 homes from July to September. The five states with the most foreclosures were California, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Texas.

At the same time, California saw a sharp decline in activity from banks taking the first steps toward foreclosure. The number of default notices that lenders send to homeowners fell last quarter for the first time in three years, down 22.5% from last quarter but up 29.9% from the same period last year.
Housing experts say that change is the direct result of a new state law that forces lenders to make repeated attempts to contact a homeowner before foreclosing on the home. Experts continue to predict that foreclosures will rise for the rest of 2008 and into 2009 before hitting their peak.

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