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Foreclosure rate falls, but drivers of the crisis remain

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Irvine-based RealtyTrac says the nationwide foreclosure rate dropped for the third straight month in October, but that doesn’t mean the crisis is close to ending.

Foreclosures fell 3 percent nationwide from September to October. But they’re still up 19 percent compared to October of last year. RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist said federal and state mortgage modification programs are gaining traction.

"Everything that’s out there that’s helping the foreclosure numbers come down a little bit is really treating the symptoms," said Blomquist. "But the root issues are still there which are driving foreclosures."

Those roots are familiar: rising unemployment, the resetting of high-risk mortgages, and homeowners owing more on their properties than they’re worth.

California had the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country after Nevada. RealtyTrac said that a total of 85,420 properties in the Golden State received foreclosure filings last month.