Foreclosure filings in Burbank and in the surrounding cities went up by a whopping 63% last year, three times the California and even the US average. According to a commonly cited real estate report, this was primarily caused by the fact that more and more Burbank homeowners are finding it hard to meet their mortgage payments.

According to the Glendale News-Press, in 2009 there were over 3,300 foreclosure filings in the cities of Burbank, Glendale, Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta compared to about 2,000 the previous year. In 2009, all across the state, foreclosure filings increased by an average 21%, and nationwide figures also went up by 21% compared to the year before.

La Crescenta led the regional figures with a more than 200% increase in the number of filings, which included foreclosures, trustee sales and notices of default. In total 412 houses in La Crescenta received one or more notices last year, compared with 188 the previous year.

The next highest increase occurred in La Cañada Flintridge, where the total number of filings, according to the data, went up by 90%. Burbank filings grew by 52% whereas in Glendale, 58% more homes received notices last year than in 2008, according to the report.

All together, California still has a much higher rate of foreclosure homes than the national average. One in 180 homes in California is in foreclosure as opposed to only one in 417 nationwide.

Concerns about these anticipated jumps in foreclosure rates are, for the most part, related to the extremely high levels of unemployment which, experts predict, will not drop in the next couple of months. Area unemployment reached a 10% high in Burbank and 11% in Glendale.

On the flipside, this situation provides an excellent opportunity for real estate investors and first-time home buyers. Based on a search conducted on, one of the leading foreclosure databases on the web, we were able to find that most (if not all) Burbank foreclosures are selling for lower than market prices. For example a house on Thomson Avenue in Burbank was listed at $358,000, while its market value is estimated at $560,000.

The Government, however, has been making headway against foreclosures by offering first-time home buyers tax incentives or by placing more emphasis on loan modifications. This, experts agree, has helped some homeowners stay out of trouble.

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