Banks last month took 633 homes in Orange County from delinquent borrowers, a 14% drop from October and the lowest monthly foreclosure total in a year.
Still, foreclosures were up 74% from 364 homes taken in November ‘07. Of course, last month’s total was close to the peak at the end of the slump in the ’90s: 674 foreclosures in October ‘96.
However, notices of default, which start the foreclosure process, increased roughly 30% to 1,205 last month from October.
Notices of default plummeted in September — rising slightly in October — as a state law was enacted requiring banks to talk with borrowers at least 30 days before filing an NOD (or show they tried) and discuss options to avoid foreclosure.
Some experts say the law temporarily lowered NODs first and is now doing so to foreclosures. Also, some recent reports show lenders and loan servicers are modifying more loans to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. But loan mods are occurring on a small percentage
of all delinquent loans — around 3% monthly by some estimates. (*Word “monthly” added.)
Meanwhile, Orange County’s median home price fell to a 66-month low of $400,000. Read more on prices and sales
Here’s a table with notices of default (NODs) and foreclosures (Forec.) by month going back to 2006: