Industry News

California foreclosures rise to 8-year high in Q4

Default notices up 145% since same quarter in '05

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Mortgage default notices filed against California homeowners hit the highest level in about eight years in the final quarter of 2006, real estate research company DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday. Lending institutions sent homeowners 37,273 default notices in the fourth quarter, up 145.3 percent compared to fourth-quarter 2005 and 36.9 percent compared to the third quarter, DataQuick reported. Last quarter's foreclosure activity was the highest since 38,053 default notices statewide in third-quarter 1998. Defaults peaked in first-quarter 1996 at 61,541, according to the report. An average of 33,615 notices of default have been filed quarterly in the state since 1992, the first year that DataQuick began tracking those statistics. "Several factors are at play here. The numbers last year and the year before were very low because of strong sales and appreciation. Also, most defaults occur a year or two after the loan was made, so we're in a period where the loan pool i...