Residential foreclosure activity in California reached its highest level in more than four years in the third quarter, real estate data company DataQuick Information Systems reported. Lending institutions sent 26,705 default notices to homeowners in the state during the three-month period ending in September, DataQuick announced, which was the highest number since first-quarter 2002, when 30,225 default notices were issued. That was up 28.3 percent from 20,812 for the prior quarter, and up 111.8 percent from 12,606 for 2005's third quarter, according to the announcement. Foreclosure activity hit a low during third-quarter 2004 when 12,145 default notices were recorded. Defaults peaked in first-quarter 1996 at 59,897. DataQuick's default statistics go back to 1992 and the quarterly average is 32,653. "Foreclosures happen when people owe more on their property that the property is worth. When prices are going up fast, as they were last year and the year before, the number of homeowners...
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