Lenders filed a record number of mortgage default notices against California homeowners during the first three months of this year, according to the research firm MDA DataQuick.
The company blamed the recession and of lenders playing catch-up
after a temporary lull in foreclosure activity. A total of 135,431 default notices were sent out during the January-to-March period, an all time high in the company’s database which goes back to 1992. That was up 80.0 percent from 75,230 for the prior quarter and up 19.0 percent from 113,809 in first quarter 2008, according.
“The nastiest batch of California home loans appears to have been made in mid to late 2006 and the foreclosure process is working its way through those,” said John
Walsh, DataQuick’s president.
While most first quarter 2009 foreclosure activity was still concentrated in affordable inland communities, there are signs that the problem is slowly migrating into other areas. The affordable markets, which represent 25 percent of the state’s housing stock, accounted for more than 52.0 percent of all default activity in 2008. Last quarter it fell to 47.5 percent.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.