California is #1 again, but not in a good way.

According to the newly released Q1 2010 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report out last week from RealtyTrac, California metros accounted for 10 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates. Those metropolitan areas include:

  1. Modesto
  2. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
  3. Stockton
  4. Merced
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield
  6. Bakersfield
  7. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville
  8. Visalia-Porterville
  9. Fresno

10. Salinas

According to the report:

Foreclosure activity declined on a year-over-year basis in 14 of the cities in the top 20 and in eight of the cities in the top 10. In contrast, foreclosure activity in the first quarter increased on an annual basis in 159 of the 206 metro areas tracked in the report, and foreclosure activity nationwide increased 16 percent from the first quarter of 2009.

“The decreasing foreclosure activity in some of the nation’s top foreclosure hot spots in the first quarter is largely the result of government intervention and other non-market influences, and not a sure signal that those areas are out of the woods yet when it comes to foreclosures,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “For example, the federal government’s new program designed to encourage short sales, which was launched April 5, may have caused some lenders to delay initiating foreclosure against distressed properties — particularly in hard-hit housing markets where a short sale costs less than a foreclosure.

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