Inland foreclosure rate decreases but is sixth-highest in U.S.

With one foreclosure-related filing for every 30 homes, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario market had the sixth-highest foreclosure rate in the nation in the third quarter of this year, according to a report released Tuesday.

Inland Southern California saw 48,416 combined filings for defaults, trustee sales and bank repossessions in the third quarter, which was a decline of almost 8 percent from the second quarter but up almost 12 percent from the third quarter of 2008.

RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist said the quarter-to-quarter decline in foreclosure activity in Riverside and San Bernardino counties does not reflect lessened distress among homeowners but instead reflects the foreclosure-prevention efforts launched this year by the state and federal government and the lending industry.

"We are seeing trends we wouldn't expect given the delinquency rates and continued problems with unemployment," Blomquist said.

He noted that more than 500,000 problem mortgages have been put into trial modification programs under the Obama Administration's Making Home Affordable Program. Blomquist said time will tell whether those trial modifications will become permanent and borrowers will remain current on their mortgage payments for the long term.

The region has ranked as high as fourth nationally in quarterly foreclosure filings.

While foreclosure activity in this region was greater than a year ago, RealtyTrac, an Irvine online foreclosure marketing company, reported that foreclosures have decreased year-to-year in some hard-hit areas of the country and increased sharply in others.

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