Home mortgage foreclosure rates are soaring in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
RealtyTrac, which gathers foreclosure data and sells it online, calculated that San Joaquin County had the nation's highest percentage of homes entering the foreclosure process in March.
Stanislaus County had the nation's fifth-highest foreclosure rate last month.
The RealtyTrac figures follow the release earlier this week of similar numbers by DataQuick Information Systems. According to DataQuick, foreclosures also were climbing rapidly throughout the valley.
The vast majority of homes facing foreclosure are in the early stages of the process, known as the notice of default.
Traditionally, most homeowners in mortgage default are able to avoid losing their homes by refinancing or renegotiating their loan terms.
Many organizations track foreclosures and provide varying types of statistics to the public and the media.
RealtyTrac, for instance, provides a ratio showing how many homes in each community are in the foreclosure process.
Based on combined filings for January, February and March, RealtyTrac estimated that one in every 73 homes in Stanislaus County is facing foreclosure.
In San Joaquin County, that ratio is one in every 80 homes. In Merced County, it's one in every 83 homes.
For the United States as a whole, the ratio is only one in every 285 homes.