Sacramento, statewide foreclosures plunge in first half of year

by Mark Glover, Sacramento Bee

Year-over-year foreclosure activity default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in California plunged dramatically through the first half of this year, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure market report said foreclosure filings were reported on 86,936 California properties in the first six months of this year, down 59.3 percent from 213,988 in the first half of 2012.

Foreclosure filings in Sacramento County through six months totaled 4,545, down 62.2 percent from the first half of 2012.

RealtyTrac has tied the steep year-over-year reductions to the “homeowner bill of rights,” the state legislative package that took effect Jan. 1.

That package codifies some changes agreed to in last year’s $25 billion national mortgage settlement, negotiated between federal and state attorneys general and five major lenders, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The changes apply to all lenders in California, and extend protections beyond the settlement’s 2015 end date.

Nationally, RealtyTrac said foreclosure filings were reported on 801,359 U.S. properties halfway through 2013, down 23.3 percent from 1,045,801 in the year-ago period.