California had 21% of U.S. foreclosure filings in third quarter

California accounted for nearly 21 percent of the nation's foreclosure activity in the third quarter, with 191,016 properties receiving some kind of notice, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

Today's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report says there were 930,437 foreclosure filings – which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – nationwide in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That was a nearly 4 percent increase from the second quarter but a 1 percent decrease from last year's third quarter.

In this year's third quarter, one in every 139 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing.

While things seemingly improved compared with the year-ago period, housing analysts were concerned by September's numbers.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 347,420 U.S. properties last month, up nearly 3 percent from August and 1 percent from September 2009.

A record 102,134 bank repossessions were reported nationwide in September, the first time that surpassed the 100,000 mark in a single month. There were 288,345 bank repossessions in the quarter, also a record.

RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio said lenders were "taking a bite out of the backlog of distressed properties where the foreclosure process was delayed by foreclosure-prevention efforts over the past 20 months.

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