Archived: New Foreclosures Still Mounting in County

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Statewide, numbers hit a record high, but at a slower pace

EGP News Service

It’s more bad news for the local economy, according to a real estate data tracking company, which reported July 22 that default notices have more than doubled from the same time last year.

The number of Los Angeles County homes slipping toward foreclosure jumped by 108.1 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2007, while statewide loan-default numbers reached a record level, reported La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems.

Lenders sent default notices to a record total of 21,632 homeowners in Los Angeles County in the second quarter of the year, up from last year’s second-quarter total of 10,393, according to DataQuick.

In Orange County, default notices were sent to 7,348 homeowners, up 146.2 percent from the 2007 second-quarter total of 2,984.

Statewide, default notices were sent to 121,341 homeowners in the second quarter of the year, DataQuick reported. That’s a 6.6 percent jump from the previous quarter and a 124.9 percent increase from the same quarter last year, when 53,943 default notices were sent.

The second-quarter default notice total was the highest since DataQuick began keeping statistics in 1992.

“The small increase in defaults from the first to the second quarter may indicate that we’re nearing a plateau,’’ said DataQuick president John Walsh. “We won’t know until the end of the year, but it may be that some lenders are starting to prioritize workouts with homeowners instead of grinding things through the foreclosure process. Of course, they may just be swamped and can’t handle processing any more paperwork.’”

The default numbers set records in almost all of the state’s 58 counties — including Los Angeles County, which broke the record set in the first quarter of 1996, when 21,444 notices were sent, DataQuick reported.

Default notices do not always lead to a home foreclosure, according to DataQuick. In general, an estimated 32 percent of homeowners emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing or selling the home.

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