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After 3-Year Low, California Foreclosure Filings Rise Again

Having fallen to its lowest level in three years, California's rate of foreclosure filings rose up to come back in line with recent rates, according to the latest information from DataQuick.

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At the same time, the share of properties at foreclosure auctions purchased by investors or other non-lender, non-government entities is growing. The rate was 29.7 percent for the third quarter, up from 28.3 percent last quarter and 22.7 percent one year ago.

Foreclosure filings in the state rose 25.9 percent in the third quarter, while posting an annual decline of 14.4 percent.

In total 71,275 foreclosure filings were filed on 70,554 homes in California in the third quarter. Most foreclosures involve loans originated between 2005 and 2007, according to DataQuick.

The highest concentration of default notices took place in lower-cost neighborhoods.

ZIP codes with a median sales price of $800,000 posted a 12.1 percent rise in notices of default filings as opposed to the statewide increase of 25.9 percent.

In these ZIP codes, there were 2.8 foreclosure filings per 1,000 homes, while in ZIP codes where median sales price

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stands at $200,000, there were 11 foreclosure filings per 1,000 homes.

The average homeowner who received a notice of default filing during the third quarter was eight months delinquent.

DataQuick measured the median amount a homeowner facing foreclosure owed on a median mortgage to be $19,198 on a $331,333 loan. This is a 17 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 27 percent increase from the third quarter of last year.

The counties that experienced the least amount of foreclosure filings were Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties, while the counties experiencing the highest incidence of foreclosure filings were Sacramento, Madera, and Stanislaus counties.

While foreclosure filings rose for the quarter, the rate of homes lost to foreclosure during the quarter declined by 8.4 percent. The total number of homes lost to foreclosure was 38,895. The is down 14.3 percent from last year.

Homes that did foreclose in the third quarter took about 9.9 months from the notice of default to the final foreclosure. This rate is almost identical to the previous quarter's timeline of 10 months but up from last year's 8.7 months.

Sales of foreclosed homes made up 34.2 percent of all home resales in California. This is down from 35.6 percent last quarter and 35.5 percent last year.

Short sales, on the other hand, increased from last quarter, up from 17.4 percent to 17.8 percent. The third-quarter rate is also higher than the rate recorded in the third quarter of 2010 â€" 17.3 percent.

""The way it looks right now, it's reasonable to expect default filings to run at a somewhat higher level than we saw earlier this year,"" said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. ""Obviously, some lenders and loan servicers have begun to plow through their backlogs of delinquent loans more aggressively.""

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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