Archive for April 21st, 2010

Here is an interesting observation from SF gate.

“Fewer homeowners in the Bay Area and California headed down the path toward official foreclosure in the first three months of 2010 compared with the prior quarter and with a year ago, according to data released Tuesday.

The research findings correspond with efforts by the federal government and some mortgage lenders to help distressed borrowers with loan modifications and by facilitating short sales, the process in which banks allow homes to be sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

In another trend, while mortgage trouble remains more prevalent in lower- and moderate-price areas, it appears to be increasing in some affluent Bay Area ZIP codes.

The number of notices of default, which is the first step in the foreclosure process, declined in both the state and the Bay Area during the most recent quarter ending in March, according to MDA DataQuick, a San Diego research firm.

The 81,054 notices of default in California were 3,514 fewer than last quarter. Bay Area default notices declined by 77 to 13,517 compared with the same period last year. The Bay Area notices were 30.5 percent lower than the first quarter of 2009, when they were at a record level across the state, according to DataQuick.

“We are seeing signs that the worst may be over in the hard-hit entry-level markets, while problems are slowly spreading to more expensive neighborhoods,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president. “We’re also seeing some lenders become more accommodating to workouts or short sales, while others appear to be getting stricter about delinquencies.”

Trustee deeds, the final step of bank repossession, were also down. The state saw 8,203 fewer trustee deeds in the first quarter of 2010, a 16 percent decline. The 6,417 deeds in the Bay Area were down about 1,000 from the previous quarter.

The Obama administration is pushing lenders to reduce homeowners’ monthly payments through the $75 billion Home Affordable Modification Program.

The White House recently announced major changes to the program as foreclosures continued and critics called the program ineffective. In the coming months, it will expand to include unemployed workers and payments to lenders to reduce the principal owed on mortgages.”

Read the full article here.

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