Record Number of Foreclosures Scheduled for Sale

California Foreclosure Prevention Act fails to slow filings

Discovery Bay, CA, August 11, 2009 – ForeclosureRadar, the only website that tracks every California foreclosure with daily auction updates; today issued its California Foreclosure Report for July 2009. For the third consecutive month, foreclosure sales jumped significantly as lenders come off the moratorium. Once again, foreclosure stats were mixed, with Notice of Default filings flat, Notice of Trustee Sale filings rising by 31.6 percent and foreclosure sales dropping 22.7 percent. The number of properties scheduled for foreclosure sale – new Notices of Trustee Sale minus those sales that have cancelled or sold – rose to a record level of 124,874, nearly double the levels reached during the foreclosure peak last year.

High-level findings for July 2009 include:

  • Filings of new Notices of Default were little changed from June at 44,996 filings, a 1.5 percent decrease. Year-over-year filings rose by 11.9 percent from July 2008.

  • Notice of Trustee Sale filings bounced back after dropping in June to 39,294; a 31.6 percent increase over the prior month, and a 0.7 percent increase over the prior year. The California Foreclosure Prevention Act, which adds 90 days prior to the filing of the Notice of Trustee Sale for lenders that do not have a comprehensive loan modification plan in place, had only a fleeting impact last month; with Notice of Trustee Sale filings hitting their second highest level on record in July, just two weeks after the law took affect.
  • After increasing for 3 consecutive months, foreclosure auction sales dropped by 22.7 percent to a total of 17,239, with a combined loan value of $8.08 Billion dollars. Year-over-year sales dropped a substantial 40.1 percent, with July 2008 having the highest level of foreclosure sales on record at 28,795. Opening bids set by lenders were an average of 39.1 percent lower than the loan balance, with 45.0 percent of sales discounted by 50.0 percent or more.
  • Sales to third party bidders were flat from June, with 2,683 foreclosures sold to investors, or in increasingly rare instances, junior lenders. As a percentage of total sales, sales to third parties continued to increase; though lenders still took back 84.4 percent of foreclosures at auction, representing 14,555 loans, with a total of $6.93 Billion dollars in loan value.
  • Foreclosures scheduled for sale rose to 124,874, a 10.4 percent increase from the prior month, and a 93.3 percent increase year-over-year from July 2008. The year-over-year increase is significant given that foreclosure sales in July 2008 set a record that has not again been reached. The increase appears to be primarily due to the fact that lenders are willingly postponing foreclosure sales.
  • The new “Home Affordable” loan modification plans now include a 3-month trial. It is our understanding that foreclosures are not cancelled until the completion of this trial period. As such, we believe monitoring the cancellation of scheduled foreclosures should provide some insight into the effectiveness of this program, as successful trials should result in cancelled foreclosures. We had a record number of cancellations in July at 10,789, a 24.8 percent increase over the prior month and an 86.3 percent increase year-over-year. It should be noted, however, that as a percentage of the foreclosures actively scheduled for sale, there was little change from prior months. It appears that the significant increase is primarily due to the high number of foreclosures that are scheduled for sale, but postponing rather than selling.

“Despite the failure of the California Foreclosure Prevention Act to slow Notice of Trustee Sale filings it is clear that lenders and servicers are delaying foreclosure” says Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “More homeowners are now sitting at the brink of foreclosure, just days away from the next scheduled auction date, then ever before, yet we simply aren’t seeing the wave of foreclosures many predicted.”

Political pressure, financial incentives and the postponement of sales awaiting the completion of loan modification trial periods are likely reasons for the delays. The vast majority of foreclosures, 72 percent, are postponing either due to lenders request, or mutual agreement between the lender and borrower. Only 10 percent are being postponed due to bankruptcy. With few exceptions the remainder have not yet been postponed and are scheduled for their first sale date.

The average California foreclosure has a total loan balance of $425,134 on a home that is now worth $236,739. While negative equity is a prerequisite for the vast majority of foreclosures in California, the degree of negative equity varies a great deal by location. Foreclosures in Santa Cruz County had loan balances just 110 percent of the current estimated value, while Foreclosures in Merced County had loan balances an average 283 percent higher than the estimated value. The Bay Area counties of Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo were among the least underwater. Inland counties including Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Solono, Sacramento, San Bernardino, and Riverside were among the most underwater.

ForeclosureRadar Report by County

Rank Change
In
Rank
County NDF NTS Sales Population
Per Sale
% Change
June 2009
% Change
July 2008
1 0 Merced 507 429 281 908 -33% -53%
2 3 Riverside 4776 4681 2297 909 -19% -40%
3 0 Yuba 141 145 74 972 -25% -43%
4 -2 Stanislaus 1072 957 499 1054 -33% -53%
5 17 Plumas 25 27 19 1101 36% 111%
6 -2 San Joaquin 1468 1236 619 1108 -34% -55%
7 2 San Bernardino 3927 3643 1691 1216 -24% -42%
8 -2 Solano 932 670 351 1216 -31% -40%
9 48 Alpine 1 0 1 1222 NA -86%
10 -3 Madera 248 256 123 1227 -31% -33%
11 1 Sacramento 2440 2230 1083 1315 -22% -45%
12 -4 Lake 109 98 47 1363 -36% -36%
13 -3 Kern 1341 1168 590 1386 -33% -37%
14 4 El Dorado 325 220 118 1523 -13% 13%
15 8 Mono 1 0 9 1529 -25% 29%
16 -2 Contra Costa 1981 1502 688 1529 -26% -46%
17 -2 Imperial 133 71 114 1545 -24% -36%
18 1 Placer 564 465 184 1812 -25% -30%
19 -8 San Benito 45 30 30 1926 -52% -57%
20 0 Monterey 538 395 212 2021 -29% -48%
21 -5 Sutter 127 104 46 2084 -39% -54%
22 22 San Luis Obispo 227 176 129 2088 43% 47%
23 3 Fresno 1088 923 434 2145 -25% -37%
24 10 Tehama 34 16 29 2152 -17% -24%
25 15 Kings 178 103 71 2175 27% 13%
26 15 Siskiyou 44 21 20 2299 25% -38%
27 -14 Calaveras 1 0 20 2306 -66% -62%
28 0 Shasta 168 115 76 2398 -28% -6%
29 4 Glenn 1 4 12 2433 -14% -29%
30 5 Napa 172 126 56 2441 -10% -15%
31 -2 Tulare 435 414 176 2473 -30% -25%
32 -1 San Diego 3444 2941 1266 2485 -22% -42%
33 -1 Sonoma 605 416 190 2550 -19% -44%
34 -7 Nevada 139 91 37 2681 -38% -29%
35 -10 Amador 46 34 14 2710 -42% -42%
36 -6 Yolo 169 168 71 2804 -35% -50%
37 -13 Tuolumne 20 17 20 2840 -44% 0%
38 -1 Alameda 1705 1331 532 2900 -23% -41%
39 -3 Butte 119 62 75 2939 -25% -18%
40 -1 Ventura 845 754 252 3300 -22% -52%
41 1 Los Angeles 9276 8976 3008 3445 -16% -33%
42 4 Santa Barbara 324 244 116 3635 -11% -46%
43 -22 Colusa 1 0 6 3652 -60% -67%
44 3 Orange 2591 2166 782 3991 -14% -46%
45 0 Santa Clara 1543 1138 414 4437 -30% -36%
46 -29 Mariposa 1 0 4 4602 -71% 0%
47 2 Mendocino 72 54 18 5009 -28% 29%
48 0 Santa Cruz 125 87 53 5029 -30% -21%
49 2 San Mateo 547 380 135 5478 -11% -24%
50 2 Marin 166 112 46 5596 -8% -32%
51 -1 Del Norte 2 6 5 5884 -29% -58%
52 1 Humboldt 33 23 16 8301 -27% -20%
53 -10 Lassen 6 4 4 8939 -69% -56%
54 2 Modoc 6 2 1 9702 NA NA
55 -1 San Francisco 268 210 81 10179 16% 40%
56 -18 Trinity 5 4 1 13966 -83% -67%

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CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE REPORT METHODOLOGY

Rankings are based on population per foreclosure sale. NDF indicates the number of Notices of Default that were filed at the county, and NTS indicates filed Notices of Trustee Sale. Sales indicates the number of properties sold at foreclosure auction. Percentage changes are based on monthly Sales. The data presented by ForeclosureRadar is based on county records and individual sales results from daily foreclosure auctions throughout the state—not estimates or projections.

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