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O.C. Home Foreclosures Drop 33% in ’97

The number of homes going into foreclosure fell 33% in Orange County last year, helping push down the total statewide for the first time in at least five years, a real estate tracking service reported Friday. Foreclosure proceedings were started on 141,180 California homes in 1997, down 13% from 162,597 in 1996, according to Acxiom/DataQuick Information Systems. That was the lowest number since DataQuick started keeping track in 1992. In Los Angeles County, foreclosures were started against 41,515 homes, down 21% from 52,321 in 1996. In Orange County, 9,262 homes went into foreclosure, compared with 13,888 the year before. Foreclosures fell by 33% in San Diego County, 31% in Ventura County, 10% in Santa Barbara County and 6% in Riverside County, DataQuick reported. The only Southern California county where foreclosures rose was San Bernardino, where they were up 3% in 1997. DataQuick President Mike Ela said the foreclosure rate is one of the last indicators to improve during an economic expansion. He said he expects foreclosures to drop markedly this year.


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