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Foreclosures Rise As Banks Close Bad Accounts

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Foreclosure activity in Ventura County soared in July from a year earlier as lenders moved to clear more of their backlog of delinquent mortgage loans, a real estate information service reported.

Lending institutions started foreclosure proceedings on 1,880 Ventura County homeowners in July. That was up 35.3% from the 1,389 a year earlier, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Throughout California, foreclosure proceedings were begun on 13,043 homeowners in July. That was up 11.2% from 11,733 in June and up 30.5% from 9,998 for July a year ago.

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So far this year, 97,119 California homeowners have been drawn into the foreclosure process, up 29.2% from 75,164 for the first seven months of last year.

“The state’s recovering real estate market still has areas of distress,” said DataQuick CEO Donald L. Cohn. “Many of the entry-level home markets that were especially active six years ago are problem areas today. Although the worst is behind us, we’ll have significant foreclosure levels well into next year if current trends stay in place.”

The numbers include recorded notices of default, the first step of the formal foreclosure process. The process can take four months or more, and many homeowners either bring their mortgage payments current, deed the property to the lender or sell their home and pay the mortgage off before the foreclosure process is completed.

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