December 17th, 2012, by Jeff Collins
Just more than 6,700 Orange County homes were in some stage of foreclosure in October, figures from housing tracker CoreLogic and the U.S. Census Bureau show.
While that’s down 42 percent from a high of 11,500 homes in the foreclosure pipeline in November 2009, the number of distressed homes still is 20 times greater than before the housing slump hit in 2005.
“There still are a lot of people who are hurting,” said Ken Mutter, senior vice president of NeighborWork Orange County, a nonprofit group that counsels homeowners facing foreclosure.
The process starts when a delinquent homeowner receives a formal notice of default and ends when the home is auctioned off to satisfy the unpaid debt.
CoreLogic provided data going back to January 2000 showing the percentage of Orange County homes with a mortgage in some stage of foreclosure. The Register then used U.S. Census figures to determine the number of homes in foreclosure from 2005 to October 2012.
Homes in the foreclosure pipeline declined sharply starting in March, falling 28 percent over a seven-month period as lenders began modifying more loans or allowing more owners to sell their homes “short” of the amount needed to pay off the mortgage.
|Area||Foreclosure Inv. Pct.||Aprox. Total|
|Los Angeles County||1.9%||22,476|
|San Diego County||1.5%||6,950|
“The banks and the lenders are working harder to do loan modifications,” Mutter said. “The other thing that we’re hearing is banks are doing more short sales. That’s good in that the homes are going on the market. But it’s not good news for the homeowners because they’re still losing their home.”
Mutter said some borrowers are in the foreclosure process for 18 months or longer.
Many more borrowers are behind on their mortgage payments but have yet to enter the foreclosure process, CoreLogic figures show.
As of September, more than 19,000 Orange County homes – 4.3 percent of local mortgages – were 90 days or more behind on payments, CoreLogic’s latest figures show. That includes homes in the foreclosure process and bank-owned homes. That number is down from 36,000 in early 2010.