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Mortgage Default Notices Drop in California, But Inland Cities Still at Risk

April 23, 2010

Our Corona loan modification attorneys were interested to see a recent piece in the Los Angeles Times suggesting that the housing market is starting to recover -- at least in coastal areas. On April 21, the Times reported that mortgage default notices dropped by 40.2% statewide in the first quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009. Mortgage default notices are the first step in a foreclosure and are generally sent after the homeowner has missed at least three monthly payments. The information comes from San Diego real estate information firm MDA DataQuick, which also said foreclosure sales dropped 1.7% from the first quarter of 2009 and 16.1% from the last quarter of 2009.

The newspaper hailed the numbers as evidence that the foreclosure crisis may be ending. Several economic analysts agreed, noting that other real estate indicators, such as the sale price of homes, suggest the market is improving. However, they also pointed out that this recovery, if it is one, may not be taking place at all or as quickly in areas with above-average unemployment. Those areas include the Inland Empire and the Central Valley, including Fresno, Bakersfield and Modesto. The newspaper noted that unemployed homeowners may be able to get help through new initiatives from the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, which allows unemployed homeowners to reduce mortgage payments significantly for three to six months while they look for jobs. But a spokesman for the California Reinvestment Coalition, which advocates for fairness in financial services, said the program is still fundamentally flawed because it relies on voluntary participation by lenders and financial incentives.

As Rancho Cucamonga loan modification lawyers, we agree. After spending more than a year advocating for homeowners who need a loan modification to keep their homes, we believe lenders would rather look like they're making loan modifications than actually make them. That means they're willing to offer hope to homeowners, but when it's time to follow through, they frequently misplace documents, delay so long that they need updated documents or start a foreclosure in one department while another department is granting a modification. With numerous homeowners underwater, especially in the Inland Empire, there's no option to find another bank to refinance. Homeowners are stuck fighting a bureaucracy that, intentionally or not, seems designed to frustrate them into simply walking away.

Howard Law PC offers our clients another option. We have represented homeowners seeking a fair loan modification since the beginning of the housing crisis, and we are proud to say we have a record of winning real results. Those results include changes to the loan's structure, lowered interest rates and more. We believe our success rests at least partly on the fact that we are Highland loan modification attorneys, because banks know that when attorneys call, a lawsuit may be coming next. In fact, we prefer to resolve our cases without going to court, but if it's necessary, we absolutely can and will sue to stop negligent behavior or bad loans made through predatory lending. Whenever possible, we want to keep our clients in their homes at a reachable and sustainable monthly payment.

If you're struggling to get a loan modification from a bank that clearly hasn't made you a priority, don't wait before calling Howard Law. To set up a free, confidential evaluation of your case, please contact us through the internet or call 1-800-872-5925.