Notices of default (NODs) recorded in California for March amounted to 32,484, up 4% from 31,004 in February, but down 45% from 58,623 in March of 2009. Notice of trustee’s sales (NOTS) filed in March increased by 18% to 33,489, up from 28,501 in February, but down 3% from 34,559 in March of 2009, as reported by Foreclosure Radar.

Due to the foreclosure moratoriums in effect from late 2008 and into 2009, foreclosure sales in California are up 92% from March 2009. That trend has accelerated as foreclosure sales increased 24% from last month. 79% of homes foreclosed in March were taken back by the lender while 21% were sold to third parties (read: speculators) – a record percentage of speculator purchases at foreclosure sales.

Foreclosure inventory of real estate owned (REO) properties for March was 15,304. This is up 28% from last month’s inventory of 11,943. [For more information on NODs and NOTS, see the February 2010 first tuesday Market Chart, CA NODs and Trustee’s Deeds Recorded Quarterly.]

first tuesday take: The number of NODs continue to steadily rise in numbers but is substantially lower than the previous year’s recordings. On the other hand, NOTS which lead to trustee sales remain close to the range seen last March.

This increase in both NOTS and NODs indicates lenders have at last begun cleaning out their bad loans, for whatever reason: intolerable delinquencies, re-defaulted modifications, better loss mitigation management and accumulated operating profits to absorb losses on REO resales are but a few possibilities. So long as increasing NODs proceed to foreclosure in greater percentages, the housing market will continue to experience an influx of REO inventory as the year advances. Increasing trustee’s sales provide an opportunity for speculators to sandwich themselves between lenders and the user-owner of the property, the owner-occupant for which the property exists.

Re: “Foreclosure Sales Nearly Double from Prior Year” from Foreclosure Radar