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Foreclosure activity was down across the board last month, the tracking website ForeclosureRadar reports, and that could be a bad thing for investors who have been cashing in on the hordes of overextended and/or underemployed borrowers losing their homes.

“Foreclosure declines would be wonderful news if they were being driven by a true market recovery in which hundreds of thousands were no longer unable to make payments, and millions were no longer upside down,” says Sean O’Toole, the website’s founder and CEO. “That is not the reality today. Instead we are seeing unprecedented government intervention into the foreclosure process leaving underwater homeowners in limbo, while stealing opportunity from investors and first time buyers,” he laments.

O’Toole further states that legislation pending in California championed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris could “bring foreclosure activity to a near halt.” New foreclosure filings in the state were down 23.68 percent to 17,707 in April as compared to March. That’s nearly 69 percent below the peak of foreclosure activity in 2009.

In San Diego, new foreclosure filings were down 13.75 percent to 1,411, while properties nearing the end of the process where they’re sold at auction also dropped 16.93 percent to 1,104. Of properties that weren’t postponed and actually made it to auction, 261 failed to attract sufficient bids from investors and reverted to the bank, while 241 were sold off to individuals looking to either convert them to rentals or flip them to new buyers for a quick profit.

With the number of properties going to investors and reverting to bank ownership are nearly equal, the trend toward cash buyers emerging at auction continues. In April 2011, nearly three fourths of properties offered for auction failed to sell.

Over 17,000 properties in San Diego County are either in default or currently owned by foreclosing banks. It now takes lenders an average of 254 days to foreclose on a delinquent homeowner, down from 324 days last year.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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