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Foreclosures expected to rise again in IE

January 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The number of home foreclosures in Southern California has been dropping in recent years. But experts say there could be another big wave coming.

Look up and down the street and you'll probably notice there aren't as many foreclosure signs as there were a few years ago. But they're still out there, and still frustrating, not only for the people losing their homes but for folks living around the foreclosed homes.

"I just don't like the houses vacant because it's people could be staying in there, and I come home late, and with kids and being a single mom, I just don't like the fact of it being empty," said Moreno Valley resident Lisa Murphy.

Murphy was not excited to hear most experts agree that another wave of foreclosures is expected to hit the area.

In 2009, more than 9 percent of Riverside County homes were in foreclosure. That number has been dropping ever since, at just over 7 percent in 2010 and just above 5 percent last year.

But we've seen an uptick in foreclosures over the past few months.

Economist John Husing says the banks are finally pulling the trigger on many foreclosures involving homeowners who've been delinquent for quite some time.

"Because of all the pressure on the banking system legally, and some of the problems with 'robo-signing' and all the rest of it, there was a hesitation. That hesitation is now gone, so as a consequence, notices of default, which is the first step in the foreclosure process, have soared," said Husing.

But Husing says once this wave of foreclosures is over, we'll start to get back to normal, and we'll start to see prices rise again. But it probably won't be for a while.

"This is going to take I think out to at least 2015, 2016, before it's cured," said Husing.

A RealtyTrac spokesman said he expects the number of foreclosed homes in Riverside County to hover right around the 6-percent range for the next year, but that it should slowly and steadily decline in the years that follow.


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