LA, OC Foreclosure Notices on the Rise

The number of Los Angeles County homes slipping toward foreclosure increased by 13.8 percent in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2008, a real estate information service reported Wednesday.

Lenders sent default notices to 24,622 homeowners in Los Angeles County in the second quarter, up from the previous year's second-quarter total of 21,632, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick.

In Orange County, default notices were sent to 8,261 homeowners, up 9.2 percent from the 2008 second-quarter total of 7,564.

In Riverside County, lenders sent default notices to 14,302 homeowners in the second quarter, down from the previous year's second-quarter total of 14,974, according to MDA DataQuick.

Statewide, default notices were sent to 124,562 homeowners in the second quarter of the year, DataQuick reported. That was an 8 percent decrease from the previous quarter's record of 135,431 notices and up 2.4 percent from the same quarter in 2008, when 121,673 default notices were sent.

"There is a perception that the housing market is dragging along the 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 John Walsh, president of MDA DataQuick. "We're hearing that some lenders and servicers are doing just that, hiring more people to do the necessary paperwork. That means the foreclosure numbers will probably shoot back up during the third quarter."

Default notices do not always lead to a home foreclosure, according to DataQuick. In general, about 20 percent of homeowners emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing or selling the home.

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