Spike in Marin Default Notices

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Marin Independent Journal.

Excerpted from Marin Independent Journal
October 20, 2009
Jim Staats, News

The number of default notices filed against Marin homeowners in the third quarter of this year jumped 66 percent compared with the same quarter in 2008, according to a state real estate report.

It Just Keeps Growing

Manny Fernandez, executive director of Marin Family Action, a San Rafael nonprofit offering assistance to families dealing with foreclosure, said just in the past few weeks the number of people coming to his office seeking such help has doubled. "It just keeps growing," Fernandez said.

He said although the bulk of homeowners he's worked with made their purchase in the past three years amid the boom of subprime mortgages, longtime homeowners have also been snared in the foreclosure web.

"Even people that refinanced within the last three years, they got caught up in the whirlwind of subprime loans," Fernandez said. "They got caught up in that boom, even though they had the house for 30 or 40 years."

Actual Marin properties foreclosed on during the third quarter, represented by the 110 trustees' deeds recorded, showed a 26 percent decrease from the 149 deeds recorded during the same period in 2008. The number showed a slight uptick from the 105 trustees' deeds recorded in the second quarter of this year.

Statewide, lenders filed 111,689 default notices during the past quarter, down 10 percent from 124,562 filed in the prior quarter, but a 19 percent increase from 94,240 notices filed in the third quarter of 2008.

"It may well be that lenders have intentionally slowed down the pace of formal foreclosure proceedings," said John Walsh, DataQuick president. "If so, it's not out of the goodness of their hearts. It's because they've concluded that flooding the market with cheap foreclosures in this economic environment may not be in their best financial interests."

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