I’ve got a correction to make on the data I’ve been reporting from RealtyTrac, a firm that tracks real estate data, especially foreclosures, nationwide.

In a couple of recent stories (on risky loans and short sales) I reported recent data from RealtyTrac as if those numbers were the total number of homes in foreclosure in the county.

Actually, those numbers reflected a new filing or a new change in status (such as a house moving from the notice-of-default stage to the point when the owner has notified the bank will be selling it), according to Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac.

The stories have been updated with the corrections.

And now, here’s something to put those numbers in context. On the phone this afternoon, Sharga ran a check of the database to tell me how many total homes are in some stage of foreclosure in San Diego County. Here’s what he found:

7,083 notices of default (missed mortgage payments)
1,135 notices of trustees sale (auction sale)
5,652 Real Estate Owned (REO – bank repossessions)

14,050 total homes in some stage of foreclosure as of April 5

Thanks are in order to Schahrzad Berkland, a voiceofsandiego.org reader who looks at similar data, herself, on a housing forum. She was really confused — and rightly so — by the low numbers I was reporting and inspired me to clarify those numbers with the RealtyTrac folks.

The trend — that more and more people are finding it tough, or impossible, to make their mortgage payments — has still been represented accurately.


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