According to figures released today by DataQuick, the number of California homes seized by lenders fell 30.6% in 4th quarter of 2010. Over all, home loan lenders foreclosed on 35,431 homes between October 1st and December 31st.  This was down from over 51,000 in the 4th quarter of 2009.

In addition, DataQuick reported:

  • Default notices issued to homeowners who have missed at least 3 loan payments dropped 17.5% in the 4th quarter of 2010 to 69,799 notices compared to the 4th quarter 2009 when mortgage lenders issued 84,568 default notices.
  • Last quarter’s number of defaults was the lowest in more than three years, the result of shifting market conditions and changing policies on servicing home loans.
  • Least amount of  loan defaults issued by mortgage lenders since the 2nd quarter of 2007, when there were less than 54,000 defaults.
  • A high percentage of loan defaults were originated between 2005 to 2007.
  • Loan modification applications feel 24% in the 4th quarter.

The lenders issuing the most loan default notices in California: Bank of America (16,199) and Wells Fargo (10,287)

DataQuick President John Walsh said: “We don’t know how much of the decline is due to less household financial distress, and how much is due to shifts in lender and servicer foreclosure policies. The level of default activity would certainly be higher if it weren’t for alternative strategies such as short sales, or even lengthening grace periods. The institutions that hold these loans in their portfolios will do whatever it takes to lessen their losses, including waiting.”