Considered separately from loan defaults and foreclosures, the number of bank repossessions also surged throughout the region, growing 19%, according to RealtyTrac.
Banks had been wary of repossessing homes, but have started to take action as efforts to restructure loans have largely failed to keep borrowers on top of their payments, experts and agents said.
Although recent trends show that repossessions have increased, lenders have refrained from quickly retaking homes and putting them up for sale, keeping the supply of homes on the market low, Habibi said.
“To some extent, that is constraining supply of distressed real estate, and it’s actually having some positive effect on the price market,” he said.
One in every 110 borrowers in the region received foreclosure-related filings in the first quarter, including notices of default, auction, trustee sale, foreclosure or bank repossessions, according to RealtyTrac.
That overall rate was better than the statewide figure of one in every 62 homes that received notices, but was worse than the national average of one in every 138 homes, according to the firm.
The largest local increase in filings came in Glendale, where 15% more homes received notices, according to RealtyTrac.
In La Crescenta, which continues to lead the region with its rate of one in every 74 homes, the amount of foreclosure-related filings jumped 12%, according to the report.
One in every 155 Burbank homes received a similar filing; in La Cañada Flintridge, one in every 148 homes got notices, according to the report.
While some borrowers have defaulted on their loans because they can’t afford them, others have decided to strategically stop making mortgage payments that they feel are unreasonably high, said Marcella Theisman, an agent for Sundance Realty in La Crescenta.
“They don’t want to make the payment,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Why do I want to be the fool that pays an $820,000 mortgage when this house next to me sells for $600,000?’”