California Foreclosure Activity Surges in First Quarter

April 22, 2008 No Comments »

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Banks and mortgage lenders sent California homeowners 113,676 default notices during the January-to-March quarter, a 39.4 percent increase from the 81,550 sent during the fourth quarter of 2007, and 143.1 percent more than the 46,760 sent a year ago, a report from DataQuick revealed.

More startling however, is the fact that 47,171 homes were actually lost to foreclosure during the first quarter, up from 31,676 in the fourth quarter and 327.6 percent more than the 11,032 a year ago.

California homeowners were a median five months behind on their first mortgage payments when the mortgage lender started the default process and owed a median $11,474 on a median $346,750 mortgage.

Of those in default, an estimated 32 percent avoid foreclosure either by bringing their payments current, refinancing, or selling the home and paying off any remainder

A year ago roughly half of borrowers in default were able to escape the foreclosure cycle.

The counties least likely to have mortgages go into default included San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties, while the opposite has been true for Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Interestingly, the report noted that foreclosure resales accounted for 33.1 percent of all California resale activity last quarter, up from just 3.2 percent a year ago.

However, the company noted that the foreclosure resales varied significantly by region, from 5.1 percent in San Francisco County to a whopping 66.7 percent in San Joaquin County.

DataQuick said there are 7.9 million houses and condos in the state of California.

(photo: eyeliam)

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