It has been for several years.
Now, some OC homeowners (actually "homedebtors") facing foreclosure might be able to negotiate a settlement with their mortgage lender called a short sale.
When this happens, a new buyer assumes the property, and the mortgage lender forgives the leftover balance of the original mortgage.
But short sales often result in smaller price discounts than home auctions do.
Fewer homes going to auction could help keep prices steady in an uncertain housing market.
A slowing housing market could indicate that hundreds of thousands of borrowers being stuck in loans they can't pay or refinance.