Driven by flat or falling property values, California foreclosures rose to the highest level in more than a decade.
During the second quarter, 53,943 notices of default were filed in the Golden State, DataQuick Information Systems reported today. The latest month was 15.4 percent worse than the first quarter and 158.0 percent worse than a year earlier.
The figures were the worst since the fourth quarter 1996 -- when defaults reached 61,541, according to the report.
Loans made between July 2005 and August 2006 -- when appreciation was in the double digits -- drove much of the latest quarter's activity, DataQuick said.
California borrowers in foreclosure owed a median of five months' payments, or $11,126, during the quarter, the report indicated. The median foreclosed mortgage amount was $342,000.
When just home equity lines-of-credit borrowers were considered, the median delinquency was eight months.
"On a loan-by-loan basis, mortgages were least likely to go into default in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties," the report said. "The likelihood was highest in San Joaquin, Merced and Riverside counties."
The foreclosure reporting service indicated that rising foreclosures have yet to bring down home values, though "foreclosure levels are already high in certain Inland Empire and Central Valley markets, where the worst-hit neighborhoods might already be seeing property values eroded somewhat by foreclosures."