California NODs Gain 2.4% Since 2008

The number of foreclosure proceedings begun against Californian homeowners from April to June fell slightly from the previous quarter but rose 2.4% from the same time period last year, according to real estate information provider MDA DataQuick. “There is a perception that the housing market is dragging along bottom, that it probably won’t get much worse, and that the lenders need to get serious about processing the backlog of delinquencies, either with work-outs or foreclosure,” said DataQuick president John Walsh. And servicers are getting serious, according to Walsh, hiring additional staff to handle the pipeline of delinquency cases. But he warned that a push in the servicing space to move these mortgages through either workout or foreclosure will likely lead to a higher volume of foreclosure filings in the third quarter. A total 124,555 notices of default (NODs) were filed in Q209 on 122,829 homes; some borrowers defaulted on multiple loans on a single property, although this trend is decreasing, according to DataQuick. The Q209 total of NODs came in 2.4% above the level seen statewide last year. On a local level, the year-over-year growth of NODs ranged from 43% in El Dorado — from 442 to 632 NODs in Q209 — to -23.1% in San Joaquin — from 4,795 to 3,688 NODs. The median origination month for loans that defaulted during the quarter was July 2006, the same month as Q1’s median. A year ago, the median month was April 2006, indicating the foreclosure process has progressed three months during the last year. The lenders that originated the most loans that went into default in Q209 were Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo (WFC) and Countrywide. Only one of those banks is left standing. WaMu is now part of JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Countrywide was absorbed by Bank of America (BAC). Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published.

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