Foreclosing Time: L.A. County’s Mortgage Crisis Continues

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February 11, 2013 in Labor & Economy

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More than 30,000 Los Angeles County homes still face foreclosure threats or have already been seized by banks as their owners struggle to cope with more than $14 billion in mortgage debt, a new analysis by Good Jobs LA reveals. These homes include:

  • 9,247 foreclosed, bank-owned properties
  • 2,209 foreclosed and sold by the mortgage holders
  • 13,444 whose owners have received a notice that the bank intends to auction off the property
  • 8,219 whose owners have received foreclosure warning notices

The recent news reports about an “easing” foreclosure crisis bring no comfort to the more than 30,000 L.A. County families facing underwater mortgages held by the same banking giants that did so much to crash our economy nearly five years ago.

And the same big banks that led us into crisis continue to top the foreclosure lists, an analysis by Good Jobs LA finds. That “Who’s Who” of big banks is led by Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Including banks they gobbled up during the crisis, these three giants account for at least 30 percent of L.A. County foreclosure filings, according to data obtained from a leading real estate market tracking service, ForeclosureRadar.com.

  • Wells Fargo: 4,576 foreclosure-related filings covering a reported $1.82 billion in mortgage debt.
  • JP Morgan Chase: 3,855 filings covering $1.78 billion in mortgage debt.
  • Bank of America: 1,357 filings covering $507 million in mortgage debt.

2012 Total Foreclosure Filings & Mortgage Debt
by Bank, Including Acquired Institutions

  • BANK OF AMERICA

1352

$507,156,996

BANK OF AMERICA

1248

$448,354,830

COUNTRYWIDE (AMERICA’S WHOLESALE LENDER)

55

$30,149,218

FIRST FRANKLIN

22

$10,135,250

MERRILL LYNCH

27

$18,517,698

  • JP MORGAN CHASE

3855

$1,781,065,212

BANK ONE NA

1

$192,000

BEAR STEARNS

71

$33,484,690

EMC MTG

212

$95,356,975

JP MORGAN CHASE

2360

$1,000,504,101

LONG BEACH MTG

80

$31,527,538

WASHINGTON MUTUAL

1131

$619,999,908

  • WELLS FARGO

4576

$1,824,389,634

AMERICA’S SERVICING CO

523

$219,194,526

WACHOVIA

137

$78,612,205

WELLS FARGO

3916

$1,526,582,903

These numbers probably understate the contributions of the three banking giants to our county’s foreclosure crisis. The list of 33,119 foreclosure filings on which our numbers are based includes 9,182 properties for which no lender was listed. The numbers may also overstate the total number of properties facing foreclosure, because properties which move quickly through the complex foreclosure process may appear more than once. (For example, if the bank sends out a notice in July that the owner has defaulted and then takes possession of the property in December, it will probably be listed at least twice.)

Despite these limitations, the foreclosure data paint a devastating picture of the crisis facing L.A. County homeowners.

(Steve Askin is Research Director for Good Jobs LA, where his post first appeared. Republished with permission.)

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