Foreclosures Are Down – Finally, Are We Seeing A Recovery – Good morning everyone. So far this morning we have good news across the board. Wall Street has taken an expected hit allowing all of you that are considering either a new purchase or refinance to get that super low rate we all had thought past several months ago. Homes sales data is out as well showing signs of improvement. Re-sales are still a bit sluggish Nationally but for all of here in sunny San Diego we are really starting to see that month-over-month increase we’ve all been waiting for.
This morning I wanted to provide the foreclosure figures that were released last week. These numbers show some signs of improvement locally, but more so nationally.
The percentage of homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments inched higher in the first quarter while the number of new foreclosures declined.
As of the end of March, 8.32% of homeowners with mortgages had missed at least one payment, up from 8.25% three months earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. The rate, adjusted for seasonal variation, was well below that recorded a year earlier: 10.06% of borrowers were in some stage of delinquency in the first quarter of 2010.
In a positive sign, the percentage of loans that were more than 90 days delinquent was down compared with the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2010.
The delinquency rate does not include homes in the foreclosure process. Just over 4.5% of all residential mortgages were in foreclosure in the first quarter on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, down from 4.64% in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 4.63% in the first quarter of 2010. This shows slight improvement but still far from where things need to be.
Delinquent loans made up 8.31% of all residential mortgages here in California during the first quarter, down from 10.88% a year earlier. The rate of loans 90 or more days delinquent was 4.84%, down from 6.98%. Loans in foreclosure had dropped to 3.97% from 5.15%.
The percentage of homes entering foreclosure dropped to 1.08% in the first quarter from 1.27% in the fourth quarter of last year. Here in San Diego we are seeing slightly better numbers as it relates to the National averages. Our foreclosure rate for Q1 this year was just over 1 percent – 1.023 to be exact. North County Coastal areas (Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, La Costa) still lead the way with the greatest resale figures while retaining the lowest foreclosure rates.
The current issue has become the increased scrutiny of foreclosures, triggered by revelations that banks cut legal corners as they took back homes. The major concerns are over how long the repossession process took. In some cases lenders have records showing the (start to finish process), meaning, when they filed the NOD to the day they foreclosed took over two years. That’s nuts . . .
Big banks specializing in “customer service” on mortgages have agreed to implement new rules imposed by federal regulators in the aftermath of these issues. They are now providing a single person to contact for each troubled borrower, while a task force of state attorneys general works to impose more sweeping reforms. So far Sacramento has done nothing, but they continue to threaten it when asked by the local media. Other States have already taken the imitative and imposed new laws to aid homeowners.
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