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Bad Sign: California Foreclosures Soar

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AP

After reading all the glowing press releases from all the government-created initiatives to save troubled borrowers, and all the successes they’re touting, I was pretty surprised to read the latest data on California foreclosures.

I didn’t expect the problem to go away, but I did expect the numbers to ebb ever so slightly. But no.

According to La Jolla-based DataQuick, the number of Los Angeles County homes headed for foreclosure in the first quarter of this year was 130 percent higher than the first quarter of last year.

Lenders sent out 20,339 default notices to homeowners. Compare that to 8,843 a year ago.

In Orange County, it’s even worse: up 168 percent. The default numbers in the state as a whole set records in nearly all counties. Not all default notices end up in foreclosure; it’s estimated about 70 percent do.

So that’s California. But then I read this study from the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, which is a group made up of representatives of 11 state Attorneys General, and it claims 70 percent of homeowners who are two months behind on their loans are not getting any help.

Servicers apparently completed 50,000 more loan modifications in January than last October, but the number of loans 90 days overdue or more increased by 90,000, so you do the math.

What am I trying to say here? I’m not confident the fixes are really fixing.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com