California mortgage default notices drop 15.8%, reach 4-year low
The number of California homeowners receiving default notices fell 15.8% year-over-year in the first three months of 2011 as servicers waded through new, complicated policies that are hindering their ability to foreclose, DataQuick said Tuesday. The number of first-quarter default notices filed on California homes reached its lowest point in four years, according to DataQuick. The San Diego-based data firm said 68,239 notices of default were recorded during the three-month period, compared to 69,799 from the prior quarter and 81,054 during the first quarter of 2010. "Lenders and servicers have put various temporary holds on foreclosure filings while they work on procedural issues and respond to regulatory and legal challenges," said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. "It’s unclear how much of last quarter’s decline can be attributed to market factors and strategic decisions, and how much can be attributed to the formalities of the foreclosure process." Based on DataQuick stats, most of the California loans in default were originated between 2005 and 2007 — a peak period for lax underwriting. On a servicer-by-servicer basis, most of the active loans in the foreclosure process last quarter were tied to JPMorgan Chase (JPM) (9,634 mortgages), Wells Fargo (WFC) (8,329) and Bank of America (BAC)(7,158). Meanwhile, the trustees pursuing the most foreclosures as part of their role in handling securitized mortgages included ReconTrust Co. for Bank of America and MERS, Quality Loan Service Corp. for Bank of America, California Reconveyance Co. for JPMorgan Chase, NDEx West (Wells Fargo) and Cal-Western Reconveyance Corp. for Wells Fargo. Write to Kerri Panchuk.