Thursday, July 12, 2007

NorCal: Foreclosures' furious pace

SJ is 1st, Merced 2nd, Stanislaus 4th in nation's mortgage defaults

About $925 million worth of mortgages have been foreclosed on since January in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, and 2,575 homes have been auctioned off on courthouse steps in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties.

During June alone, there were 203 home foreclosure auctions in Modesto at which lenders tried to recover what they could from $66 million in delinquent loans, according to the ForeclosureRadar research firm.

By comparison, only 15 such home auctions took place in June 2006, and those loans were worth just $4 million, said Sean O'Toole, who owns ForeclosureRadar, a research firm based in Discovery Bay.

O'Toole has been tracking the rapid rise in foreclosures throughout California. Statewide last month, he said, there were foreclosure auctions for 6,960 homes with loan values of $2.83 billion.

"Foreclosure sales now represent about 16 percent of all home sales in California," O'Toole said.

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