Home foreclosures up in Los Angeles
Home foreclosures up in Los Angeles



LOS ANGELES, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Home foreclosures in the Los Angeles area soared more than 60 percent in February after moderating for several months, a newspaper report said on Wednesday.

This was a sign that mounting job losses are exacerbating the market's woes, the local Daily News reported.

Foreclosures and notices of default both made huge jumps from the prior month and the previous year, suggesting that unemployment has joined bad loans in beating down the housing market, the paper said, quoting figures from Foreclosures.com.

The figures from Foreclosures.com showed that a total of 3,921 foreclosures were reported in February, up 69 percent from 2,314 in January and 58 percent from 2,481 in February 2008. The record of 4,748 foreclosures was set last August.

Notices of default, the first step in the process, were issued on a record 9,228 properties in February, up from 6,286 in January, a 47 percent jump, and they increased 37 percent from 6,737 in February 2008.

The big jump in default notices may mean that lenders have worked through a backlog of pending seizures that resulted when a new law lengthened the foreclosure process, according to the DailyNews.

"Despite the efforts to stem foreclosures by government and many banks, the hopeful signs of the last quarter of 2008 and January didn't follow through in February," Foreclosures.com President Alexis McGee said in remarks reported by the Daily News.

"Many homeowners are in trouble, and rising unemployment continues to threaten to intensify the problem."

The California Employment Development Department reported that unemployment rate in the Los Angeles County hit 10.5 percent in January, the latest figure available, compared with the statewide rate of 10.1 percent and the national rate of 7.6 percent in January.

Copyright ©2009 Xinhua News Agency
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