Business & Economy

Unemployment drives foreclosures in California

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A record high 937,840 properties nationwide fell into foreclosure between July and September, according to a report out Thursday from Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

More than a quarter of those properties, 250,054, are in California.

RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist says state and federal measures designed to keep people in their homes haven’t worked for all the homeowners who need relief.

"In most cases, we’re seeing these laws merely delaying the foreclosures as opposed to actually preventing them," Blomquist said.

The foreclosure crisis started with sub-prime borrowers, but in the last six months, it has increasingly reached unemployed homeowners like Cesar Hernandez, 44.

Four years ago, the construction worker put in 50 hours a week. He bought a three bedroom house in Palmdale for his wife and daughter.

But he hasn’t worked now for eight months, and he can't make his mortgage payments. He has two weeks to get out of the house.

"I don’t know what I’m gonna do," Hernandez said, nearly breaking down into tears. "I just really don’t have a place to go."

California has the third highest foreclosure rate in the country after Nevada and Arizona.