1 in 14 county households in some state of distress

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Riverside County had the second-highest foreclosure rate in the state in 2010, a real estate tracking firm reported Thursday.

A total of 55,184 mortgage default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were recorded countywide last year, down about 21 percent from 2009, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

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Data showed that 1 in 14 households — about 7 percent of the county’s housing stock — slipped into some stage of foreclosure in 2010.

Stanislaus County ranked No. 1 in foreclosure filings, with about 7.3 percent of the county’s housing inventory going into default, according to RealtyTrac. San Joaquin County was just behind Riverside, with 6.94 percent, followed by Merced County, with 6.93 percent, and San Bernardino County at No. 5 with 6.7 percent.

Roughly half of the state’s counties — 28 — saw a decrease in year-to-year foreclosure activity.
In the fourth quarter, Riverside County had the third-highest foreclosure rate in California, with 1 in 45 households in default. However, foreclosure activity dropped 12 percent in the last three months of 2009 compared to the July-September period, figures showed.

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California ranked fourth nationally in foreclosure activity in 2010, with 546,669 filings. Even so, the state was down 13.5 percent from 2009, according to RealtyTrac.

Nationwide, there were 3.8 million filings, a 2 percent increase compared to the year before, according to RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio.

He said that number would have been higher but for a fourth-quarter drop in activity — “triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings.”

Saccacio said many of the foreclosures suspended in 2010 will “likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011.”

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