In Fresno, 137 notices of default – the first step in the foreclosure process – were filed last month compared to 305 in December.
Notices of sale, which set the date and time of a foreclosure auction, also fell to 267 compared to 368 the month before.
Statewide, notices of default took a steep fall to 4,500 in January from 11,391 in December. There were 9,070 notices of sale filed last month compared to 13,917 in December.
What’s going on?
“Homeowners have an ever expanding array of foreclosure mitigation paths to choose from,” said Madeline Schnapp, ForeclosureRadar’s director of economic research.
Schnapp said a number of federal programs created over the last few years have successfully delayed or pulled homeowners out of the foreclosure process.
“They can get HAMP’d, HARP’d, HAFA’d, HOPE’d, FHA Loss Mitigated, to name a few,” Schnapp said.
But the foreclosure slow down has created a problem – a lack of available housing inventory for sale.
“Any sort of housing market recovery is dependent upon adequate inventory, which is now missing in much of California,” Schnapp said.