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Foreclosures surged 58 percent in the past six months

According to the real estate research firm RealtyTrac, the number of homes facing foreclosure rose 58 percent in the first six months of 2007 to 573,397 properties, compared with 363,672 properties in the same period last year.

California saw the highest number of foreclosure-related notices at 104,572 properties, more than 50 percent higher than one year ago and 80 percent higher than in the previous six months. Florida, Ohio and Texas followed with large double-digit increases in foreclosures.

In response to California’s growing foreclosure rate, a consumer group called the California Reinvestment Coalition has begun advocating for a moratorium on home foreclosures. The coalition is a group of nonprofit organizations that advocates on behalf of poor and minority residents.

Alan Fisher, executive director of the coalition, told the San Jose Mercury News that a six-month moratorium would give the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance committee time to figure out a way for people to keep their homes.

"The curve is really starting to go up. We're seeing just the beginning of a problem," Fisher told the newspaper.

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