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Top 10 US foreclosure hotspots: 9 in California

Foreclosure activity falls year over year for 16th straight month in January

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Foreclosure activity was down on an annual basis for the 16th month in a row in January, but there are signs that activity is picking up in some states, according to a report from foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac. A total of 210,941 U.S. properties, or 1 in 624 housing units, received a foreclosure filing -- default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession -- in January. That's a nearly 3 percent increase from December, but a 19 percent decrease compared to January 2011. "Although overall foreclosure activity was down from a year ago for the 16th straight month in January, we continue to see signs on a local and regional level that the frozen-up foreclosure process is beginning to thaw," said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac's CEO, in a statement. "Foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than 12 months in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, following a pattern we saw in late 2011 in states such as Calif...