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California | IN BRIEF / Southland

Foreclosures in State Hit Lowest Level in a Decade

November 01, 2001|Jesus Sanchez

The number of California homes going into foreclosure during the third quarter fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade, but there are signs that, after years of declines, the pace might be leveling out, according to a real estate research firm.

Lenders began foreclosure proceedings against 18,673 homeowners--the lowest since 1992--from July through September, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The results were down 4.3% from the previous quarter and down 11.1% from the year-ago period.

However, the third-quarter "notices of default" issued by lenders would have been higher if not for the terrorist attacks that disrupted business operations. The pace of foreclosures had been mirroring the previous quarter but dropped significantly after the attacks.

"A lot of processes were put on hold while the country came to grips with what happened," said DataQuick President Mike Ela. "What will probably happen is that some third-quarter foreclosure activity got nudged into the fourth quarter."

California foreclosure activity has been falling steadily since the first quarter of 1996 when 44,665 notices of default were recorded, according to DataQuick.

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