Foreclosures down in San Diego County

Foreclosure activity in San Diego County fell by nearly 12 percent last month from December, apparently because some lenders stopped repossessing dwellings in anticipation of federal intervention, it was reported Tuesday.

Some lenders self-imposed foreclosure moratoriums in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s plan to help distressed homeowners, ForeclosureRadar research firm founder Sean O’Toole told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Obama’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program is scheduled to get under way March 4. It is expected to help as many as 9 million homeowners nationwide obtain more affordable mortgage terms, according to published reports.

Research firm MDA DataQuick released a report Monday that found January was the first month to show a year-over-year decline in county foreclosures since March 2005. According to MDA, there were 1,107 foreclosures last month, a 15 percent drop from a year earlier.

The firm also reported there were 2,808 notices of default in the county last month, a drop of 8 percent from December and nearly 10 percent from a year ago.