A default notice is the first step in a foreclosure process.
According to Dataquick, a real estate tracking firm, the ongoing recession is a big factor, plus lenders are playing catch-up after a temporary lull in foreclosure activity.
Dataquick said a lot of risky loans were made in mid to late 2006, and the foreclosure process is now working its way through. 8.5 percent of the 3 million home loans made in California that year have ended up in default.
Fewer default notices went out during the end of 2008 after a new state law took effect requiring lenders to help keep troubled borrowers in their homes. That has lead to a 6 percent drop in the number of foreclosures so far this year.
L.A. County has seen the largest increase compared to a year ago. Nearly 28,000 notices went out from January to March this year, which is a 37 percent increase.
In Orange County, 8,427 notices went out, which is a 19 percent increase, and in Riverside County, 16,906 notices went out, which is a 12.5 percent increase. In San Bernardino County, 13,276 notices went out, which is a 19 percent increase, and in Ventura County, 2,648 notices went out, which is a 21 percent increase.
Foreclosure sales now account for more than half of the sales activity in California.
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