By Alejandro Lazo
July 23, 2013, 11:36 a.m.

New California foreclosure filings rose considerably in the first quarter over the second but were still down 53% from the same period a year prior and held to their second-lowest level in seven years.

Notices of default shot up 39% in the second quarter, according to a report by the real estate firm DataQuick. Lenders filed 25,747 notices of default during the three-month period that ended June 30. Nevertheless, it was the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2005.

The big increase came after notices of default plunged during the early months of 2013 after the so-called “Homeowner Bill of Rights” went into effect. That new series of state laws restricted the foreclosure process in California.

Notice of defaults peaked in the first quarter of 2009 when 135,431 such actions were filed. The firm DataQuick attributed the downward trend to rising home prices. The median home price had risen to $344,000 at the end of the second quarter. That was up 15% from the previous quarter and 27% from the same period last year.

“A foreclosure only makes sense when the home is worth less than what is owed on it,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a news release. “As home values rise, fewer homeowners owe more on their homes than the homes are worth.”

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