S.O.S. Home Debtors Going Down?
"A growing number of homeowners in the Bay Area and throughout California fell behind on their mortgage payments in the second quarter."
"In the Bay Area, 2,910 homeowners received default notices from their lenders for the April-to-June quarter, up 37.1 percent from 2,123 notices in the same quarter a year ago, according to DataQuick."
"That increase is the highest since the first quarter of 2001, when there was a 46.5 percent rise."
"The swell was bigger statewide as 20,752 default notices were sent out -- up 67.2 percent from the same quarter in 2005 and the highest increase for any quarter since DataQuick began tracking foreclosures 14 years ago."
"Defaults have risen as home sales slow. The steady decline in price appreciation has left financially struggling homeowners insufficient equity to either sell or refinance their homes to pay off their mortgages."
'"We hear a lot of talk about rising payments on adjustable-rate loans triggering borrower distress," said DataQuick President Marshall Prentice. "While there's no doubt some of that is going on, as far as we can tell the spike in defaults is mainly the result of slowing price appreciation. It makes it harder for people behind on their mortgage to sell their homes and pay off the lender."'