Daren Blomquist with research firm RealtyTrac says January foreclosure starts in California were up 12% from December and nearly 60% from a year ago.
“That was following 17 consecutive months where the California foreclosure start numbers had been decreasing on an annual basis,” said Blomquist.
Blomquist points out those annual decreases were triggered by California’s “Homeowner Bill of Rights” which took effect last year, requiring more paperwork from lenders.
“And now we’re seeing the lenders finally adjust to that legislation and start to push through foreclosures that may have been delayed because they were trying to figure out what they need to do to make sure that they’re foreclosing properly.”
Still, California is in a lot better shape than it was a few years ago.
The number of properties starting the foreclosure process in January was 6,900. During the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2009 and 2010, that number was closer to 50,000.
Nevada saw a major spike in scheduled public foreclosure auctions last month - that's the second stage of the foreclosure process, after a property owner gets the initial "notice of default" and before a bank repossession.
"In January we saw a 73% year over year increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions in Nevada," says Blomquist. "That was up to a 23 month high, those scheduled foreclosure auctions. And so that helped push Nevada's foreclosure rate to number two in the nation."
RealtyTrac's statistics show one in every 533 homes in Nevada saw some sort of foreclosure filing in January, either a notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession. The rate is up 28% from December, but down 35% from the same time a year ago.
Florida posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate in January. California had the 10th highest.