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392 foreclosures in Manteca in March? Try 90
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So how bad is the foreclosure mess?

If you follow a popular website that tracks foreclosures, you’d be led to believe there were 332 foreclosures in March within Manteca’s city limits. That figure is misleading for a number of reasons.

First it double counts previous months. For example if a home got a first notice in January it was counted in that month’s numbers. If it got a second notice in March it was included in the March number as well. Then if the home has actually been foreclosed upon it is counted again.

The real number of “new foreclosures” is actually around 90 homes.

While that number is still way too high, it leaves a much different impression of the true situation than the 332 number.

It should be noted that a growing number of homes that are in the foreclosure process don’t make it all the way to the end thanks to loan modifications. It isn’t an overwhelming number but it takes the edge off somewhat. In addition there are banks that are holding back from flooding the market with foreclosures. A foreclosure in March, for example, could have been ready to be at that point in October. For a variety of reasons, banks are managing foreclosures a tad differently than they were a year ago.

No one is underplaying how serious foreclosures are still in terms of the health of the economy and the housing market.

In reality, though, the problem isn’t as dismal as some websites lead you to believe.

Of course, other sources use different criteria but it isn’t a one-size -fits all when it comes to counting foreclosures and they aren’t in the business of double and triple counting the same home as it moves through the foreclosure process.