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by CareyBot

First-quarter foreclosure activity in California increased to the highest level in more than two years, the result of slower home-price increases, a real estate information service reported. Lending institutions sent 18,668 default notices to California homeowners during the January-to-March period. That was up 23.4 percent from 15,122 for the prior quarter, and up 28.7 percent from 14,501 for 2005's first quarter, according to DataQuick Information Systems. Foreclosure activity hit a low during the third quarter of 2004 when 12,145 default notices were recorded. Defaults peaked in 1996's first quarter at 59,897, according to DataQuick, whose default statistics go back to 1992. "A number of factors are driving defaults higher," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick's president. "The main one...