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San Diego Foreclosure Activity Fell Last Month

A San Diego based Real Estate tracking firm says foreclosures dipped 13 percent in February and while the trend is positive, the housing market is far from healthy.

— Banks took possession of 13 percent fewer homes last month, when compared to January, according to San Diego-based Dataquick.

The real estate tracking firm says the decline is 30 percent when compared to the same month a year ago. Fewer people are getting notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process. However, the housing market remains under the weather.

"The trouble is, there are still a lot of people who are behind on their payments," said Andrew LaPage of DataQuick. "They're in trouble and they're just stuck somewhere in the process. And it is not clear how the lenders will handle them."

The slow recovery could screech to a halt if banks foreclosed on a lot of properties at once, according to LaPage. There are also lingering concerns about loans issued at the peak of the housing boom.

"When will we have burned through all those ugly loans from 2006? It's not clear. There were a lot of them," said LaPage. "We're still working through them, but again, if the economy and the housing market continue to heal gradually, then we think we'll be through the worst of it in the next year or two."

The number of foreclosures in the county last month fell to the lowest level in four years, said LaPage.

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