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Lenders Sending More Default Notices To California Homeowners

More foreclosure notices were sent to California homeowners in the third quarter as lenders move to clear a backlog of delinquent mortgages.

— Seventy-one thousand homeowners got notices in the third quarter; that's up sharply from the 57,000 notices issued the quarter before.

San Diego-based Dataquick tracks the housing market. The company said lenders are starting to deal with of delinquent loans.

"Clearly some lenders are beginning to plow through their backlogs, of distressed properties, faster," said Andrew LaPage of Dataquick. "They're processing things faster. It may have to do with staffing. There's a lot of talk in the regulatory and lending community about the overhauling of the procedures they follow."

Not all default notices end up in a foreclosure, but more than a third of all home sales in Southern California involve foreclosed properties. That situation is expected to linger for some time, although it is not clear how the distressed inventory will affect home prices.

"The market impact has a lot to do with the magnitude and timing," said Andrew LaPage of Dataqucik. "How many of these homes in distress will end up as inventory, when, will a lot of them being processed now hit in the first half of next year, or will they spread out over a longer period."

Dataquick says the number of homes lost to foreclosure declined in the third quarter. Foreclosures dropped 8.4 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter. The decline was 14.3 percent from the same quarter last year.

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