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California Home Foreclosures At 11-Year Low, But Backlogs Remain Copious

Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

New housing data show foreclosure activity in California dropped to an 11-year low in 2016. But the state is still working through a backlog of homes purchased with bad loans during the last housing bubble.

Last year, 78,000 California properties received foreclosure filings. Daren Blomquist, vice president of communications for ATTOM Data Solutions, says it has not been that low since 2006.

"Even though new foreclosure activity is back to normal levels, we still show one of the biggest backlogs of these legacy foreclosures," Blomquist says.

Those are loans originated between 2004 and 2008, during the last housing bubble.

Sixty-percent of all loans actively in foreclosure as of the end of 2016 were legacy foreclosures, the fourth highest in the country and up 5 percent from the national average.

Blomquist says efforts to prevent improper bank repossessions have slowed the foreclosure process.

He says banks pushed through significant numbers of legacy foreclosures during the fourth quarter.

And since foreclosures are typically listed at discounted prices, people looking to buy their first home may have more choices.

You can see a heat map of legacy foreclosures by county here.


Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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