Wednesday, January 14, 2009

California Foreclosure Activity Picks up Again

by Calculated Risk on 1/14/2009 11:07:00 AM

From Housing Wire: Foreclosure Activity Resumes Climb in California: Report

We’ve written for months now that extending foreclosure timelines — either via the use of legislation to lengthen notice periods, or through more direct moratoria efforts — will accomplish little more than delaying defaults, while simultaneously driving up costs and stretching servicers to a whole new level of thin. Proving that point yet again is ForeclosureRadar’s latest report on California foreclosure activity during December ...

Notices of Default, which represent the first step towards a foreclosure, rebounded sharply from an earlier stall caused by California State Senate Bill 1137, ForeclosureRadar reported. With 42,421 filings recorded in December, Notices of Default are back to the record levels reached in the second quarter of 2008, nearly doubling the 21,557 Notices of Default recorded in November alone. NOD filing levels in Dec. were 24.7 percent above year-ago totals, as well.

Notice of Trustee Sale filings were relatively flat month-over-month, but were still up 29.8 percent compared to last Dec.; such notices are filed an average 116 days after the Notice of Default, and indicate an imminent foreclosure sale, so a rebound in NTS levels in coming months seems likely.
...
“The effort by the California State Legislature to reduce foreclosures has now clearly failed,” said Sean O’Toole, founder of ForeclosureRadar. “While State Senate Bill 1137 was well intentioned, forcing lenders to talk to homeowners won’t fix this problem.
California Foreclosure Activity Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This chart shows the impact of bill 1137 - a dip in activity - but as Paul Jackson noted, this was just a delay.

Matt Padilla at the O.C. Register has local data: O.C. pre-foreclosure filings hit four-month high