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UPDATE

State foreclosure numbers higher

May 11, 2003|From Times wire reports

Lenders began foreclosure proceedings on 20,093 California homeowners from January to March, up 4.5% from 19,225 the previous quarter but down 14.2% from 23,406 a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

An increase from fourth quarter to first quarter is normal for the season. The January-to-March total was the lowest for any first quarter since 18,806 default notices were filed in 1992.

The peak occurred during the first quarter of 1996, when lenders started foreclosure proceedings on 44,665 homeowners. The numbers count notices of default, the first step of the formal foreclosure process.

Eighty percent of the homeowners who find themselves in default are able to stop the foreclosure process by bringing their mortgage payments current or by selling their homes and paying off the mortgages. In the mid-1990s, only half of distressed homeowners were able to do that.

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