Foreclosure activity in California showed a year-over-year increase during the last quarter for the first time in more than three years, the result of lower appreciation rates and riskier loans, a real estate information service reported. Lending institutions sent default notices to 12,568 California homeowners during the July-to-September period, up 0.8 percent from 12,465 for the second quarter, and up 3.5 percent from 12,145 for last year's third quarter, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The last time default notices increased year-over-year was during first-quarter 2002 when the 30,225 count was up 5.2 percent from 28,724 a year earlier. Defaults peaked in 1996's first quarter at 59,897. Last year's third quarter was the low. DataQuick's default statistics go back to 1992. "Current foreclosure levels are extremely low and this increase is a step towards more normal activity. Foreclosures decline when home prices go up. As home appreciation rates come down, we expe...
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