Sacramento area foreclosures soar

Despite strict regulations to discourage bankruptcy, the number of filings last year in Sacramento nearly doubled in a tidal surge that outpaced growth around the nation and left court officials expressing astonishment.

In total, 17,397 people and businesses sought bankruptcy protection in a district that largely encompasses the Central Valley. The figures provide a grim epilogue to a period that saw Stockton and other cities in the Central Valley report foreclosure rates that ranked among the highest in the nation.

Yet the housing downturn and the ensuing credit crunch have not loosened their grip in 2008. The number of cases filed in the first quarter is up 82 percent from the same period last year.

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