Exclusive: Major Lender Signals Surge in Local Foreclosures

Exclusive: Major Lender Signals Surge in Local Foreclosures

san-diego-union-tribuneBank of America, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, ramped up its foreclosure activity in March, sending hundreds of letters warning delinquent borrowers in the region that it could sell their homes at auction in as little as three weeks, according to NorthCounty Times analysis of data from ForeclosureRadar.

The bank said the increased activity was a natural consequence of borrowers running out of options.

Analysts and real estate agents said the moves by the Charlotte, N.C., banking giant, which controls a large share of the SouthernCalifornia mortgage market, could signal a final reckoning for homeowners who have been protected by

Last month, a Bank of America division called ReconTrust N.A.sent out a flurry of “notices of auction,” which alert owners of the date their homes could be sold in foreclosure proceedings.

The notices went to 230 homeowners in North San Diego County, a69 percent increase from February, and to 391 owners in SouthwestRiverside County, up 67 percent from February.

By comparison, in March 2009, ReconTrust sent a total of 31 such letters to both regions combined.

ReconTrust was formed as the foreclosure division of CountrywideFinancial Services Inc., the company that helped drive the real estate boom of the 2000s with its no-documentation “liar loans” and enormous subprime portfolio.

As borrowers could no longer make payments on such loans, home values plummeted, dragging with them much of the national economy.

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