CA Leads Nation in Foreclosures for First Time in Seven Years

For the first time since 2005, California led the nation in foreclosure rate in June, pushed up by an 18 percent year-on-year increase in the number of properties entering the foreclosure process.

RealtyTrac reported that there were foreclosure filings on one in every 288 housing units in California in June, or 47,490 filings total. There were 197,834 foreclosure filings on properties in the U.S. in June.

Filings include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions.

Hopefully this marks the beginning of the end for the large shadow inventory, the amount of homes in foreclosure but not listed as for sale, in California – many experts cite this inventory as a key part of the slowed recovery process.

During the first six months of 2012, there were just over 1 million foreclosure filings in the U.S., representing an 11 percent decrease in activity compared with the first six months of 2011.

June also marked the 21st consecutive month of a decline in U.S. foreclosure rates.

But, while national foreclosures dropped by 3.96 percent in June, California foreclosures rose by 12.42 percent.

Some of that increase can be linked to the unemployment rate in California – one of the highest in the nation. California’s unemployment rate is 10.8 percent, compared with a national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.

The data might also indicate that banks are more comfortable instigating foreclosure proceedings after a $25 billion government lawsuit settlement related to mortgage abuses that was reached in February.