Saturday, February 04, 2006

SF Bay Area Foreclosures ar Up.

Bad trends always seem to start in California.

[More Bay Area homeowners had serious trouble paying their mortgages and went into default as 2005 drew to a close -- evidence that a cooler housing market can hurt the financially strapped.

Lenders sent 2,292 ``notices of default'' to owners in the nine-county area in the last quarter of 2005, DataQuick Information Systems reported Thursday -- 11 percent more than a year earlier. The notices are the first step in the formal foreclosure process, and typically are sent when a homeowner has failed to make payments for three months or more.

Overall, the number of Bay Area default notices remains low. But defaults are likely to keep rising, according to the real estate information firm.

``From here on out the number will probably increase steadily,'' said DataQuick's John Karevoll, who compiled the data from public records. ``The main thing we need to remember is the numbers a half-year and year ago were just unnaturally low, as statistics go.'']



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