Southern California foreclosures decline at end of 2010

Southern California’s foreclosure crisis eased during the final three months of the year, according to data released Tuesday, but the Golden State’s high jobless rate could cause further defaults and repossessions this year.

The number of homes entering the formal foreclosure process in the Southland declined 16.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with the prior quarter and 19.7% with the same period a year prior. A total of 37,592 received notices of default in the six-county region, the first stage of the foreclosure process according to San Diego research firm MDA DataQuick.

The data captured a period in which the state’s largest lender, Bank of America, had declared a moratorium in the state in response to a national furor surrounding foreclosure paperwork issues. The bank lifted that freeze in December.

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