Foreclosure sales slid in California

08:41, May 12, 2010      

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Foreclosure sales across California slid three percent last month but were 36 percent above the level of the year before, a real estate tracking firm said on Tuesday.

On a year-over-year basis, foreclosure cancellations had surged 174 percent in California, according to

"The steady rise in cancellations leads us to believe that loan modifications and short sales are gaining traction," said Sean O' Toole, the company's founder.

"I'd caution, however, that cancellations also occur due to filing errors and extended postponements, which require the notice of trustee sale to be refiled.

"In fact," he added, "14.6 percent of new notice of trustee sale filings in April were on previously canceled foreclosures."

Two-thirds of the foreclosed inventory was taken back by lenders last month, without any competitive bids being received, but O' Toole noted the number of third-party sales at auction has increased 158 percent in the last year as investors take advantage of discounted prices.

In Los Angeles County, the number of foreclosed homes in Los Angeles County declined slightly last month, but remained far above the year-ago level, according to the firm.

The firm said in its monthly "California Foreclosure Report" that 3,245 repossessed properties in the county were sold in April, compared to 3,293 in March, about a one percent drop.

But last month's figure was 49 percent higher than April 2009, when 2,172 foreclosed homes were auctioned off.

Los Angeles County had the highest volume of foreclosure sales in the state, followed by Riverside County, with 2,398, and San Bernardino County, with 1,838, according to the firm.



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