Foreclosure Sales Steadily Climbing


Discovery Bay, California (EastBayDaily) —, the only website that tracks every California foreclosure, and provides daily auction updates, issued its monthly California Foreclosure Report for May 2009. Foreclosures sales jumped 31.9 percent in May, following a 35 percent increase the prior month. Notices of Trustee Sale, which set the auction date and time, also rose a significant 42 percent from April, indicating that foreclosure sales are likely to continue to rise in the weeks and months ahead. Despite these increases, and a record number of foreclosures scheduled for auction, lenders continue to voluntarily postpone the majority of foreclosure sales.

High-level findings for May 2009 include: Notices of Default, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, fell 4.2 percent from April to 40,870 filings. Year-over-year filings were down 3.1 percent from May of 2008.

Notices of Trustee Sale filings reached a new record level in May with 41,959 filings, representing an increase of 42 percent from April. Filings were 24.1 percent higher than a year earlier, and 7.6 percent higher than the previous record set in July of 2008.

Foreclosures taken to sale at auction reached 17,871, a 31.9 percent increase from the prior month, but 30 percent lower than a year earlier. Though loan values represented a total of $8.01 Billion in May, 83 percent of the sales were taken to auction with a discounted opening bid that averaged just 58.6 percent of the loan value.

The majority of foreclosure sales continue to be taken back by the lender, with 87.9 percent, or 15,599 sales, with a total loan value of $6.98 Billion, taken back by the lender in May.

Third party foreclosure auction sales continued to increase substantially to a total of 2,272, an increase of 39 percent from the prior month, and a significant 228.3 percent increase from May 2008. More than half of third party sales occurred in just five counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Sacramento.

“While many complain that lenders are foreclosing too aggressively, and others claim a wave of foreclosures sales is imminent, the data actually shows that lenders are doing everything possible to delay foreclosure,” says Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “The reality is that we have very few homeowners being foreclosed on when viewed as a percentage of those scheduled to be foreclosed on, in default, delinquent, or upside down in their mortgage.”

As the only service that tracks every foreclosure auction throughout the state, ForeclosureRadar is uniquely able to see not only how many foreclosures were initiated, but also the current status of those foreclosures and their ultimate outcomes, whether postponed, cancelled or sold. By the end of May we had a record 111,824 foreclosures scheduled for sale, yet just 15.9 percent were actually sold, versus 49.2 percent of scheduled foreclosures being sold a year earlier. Further, when sales peaked in July 2008 at levels 61 percent higher than those reached in May 2009, there were only 64,598 foreclosures scheduled for sale, 42.2 percent fewer than today.

Of those foreclosures currently scheduled, 40 percent are being postponed to a future date at the lenders request, and another 33 percent are being postponed based on the mutual agreement of lender and borrower, clearly demonstrating that lenders are indeed delaying foreclosure in the majority of cases on their own accord.

Specifically note that lenders were under no obligation in May to offer a loan modification program, short sale, or other resolution, and that these efforts would have resulted in a cancellation of the sale rather than a postponement. May saw just 6 percent of scheduled foreclosures canceled, the lowest percentage of cancellations we have on record.

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CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE REPORT METHODOLOGY Rankings are based on population per foreclosure sale. NOD 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.

ABOUT FORECLOSURERADAR.COM ForeclosureRadar is the only web site that tracks every foreclosure in California with daily updates on all foreclosure auctions. ForeclosureRadar features unprecedented tools to search, manage, track and analyze preforeclosure, foreclosure auction, short sale and bank owned real estate. The web site was launched in May 2007 by Sean O’Toole, who spent 15 years building and launching software companies before entering the foreclosure business in 2002 where he successfully bought and sold more than 150 foreclosure properties. ForeclosureRadar is an indispensable resource for real estate agents, brokers, investors, lenders, mortgage brokers, attorneys and other real estate professionals specializing in the California real estate market.


Sean O'Toole