State housing agency threatens Irvine homeowner with foreclosure for moving out

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Aimee Larson of Irvine is in danger of losing her condo. But she says she hasn’t missed a payment and her finances are stable. Her problem? She started renting out the property.

You see, Larson’s lender is the California Housing Finance Agency, an entity in state government with strict owner-occupancy rules. Last year, CalHFA was blasted by the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes for foreclosing on homeowners who no longer live in their homes, even when they were current on their mortgage payments.

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California foreclosure notices fall to five-year low

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California home foreclosure notices fell to their lowest level since 2007 in the third quarter due to an improving economy and more short sales, according to real estate information service DataQuick.

A total of 49,026 default notices on residential properties were recorded in July through September, down 31.2 percent from 71,275 in the year-ago period and down 10.2 percent from the second quarter, San Diego-based DataQuick said. The number was a 63.8 percent fall from a peak of 135,431 in the first quarter of 2009 and the lowest since 46,760 default notices were recorded in the first quarter of 2007.

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Why Are Home Prices Rising?

Home prices through July posted their largest year-to-date rise since 2005, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index covering 20 major metropolitan areas.

Prices rose by 5.9% from the end of last year, according to the index, compared with a 0.4% gain for the same period last year and a 2.1% gain in 2010, when tax credits fueled a burst of home sales activity.

Are price gains limited to one segment of the market—say, foreclosed properties?

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Not really. Data from real-estate firm CoreLogic show that the increases are being felt across all segments of the market. Overall median home prices in August were up by 12% from one year ago, as are median prices of existing homes that aren’t distressed sales.

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