Bakersfield ranked second among the top 10 metro areas nationwide with the largest drop in homes listed for sale in March, according to

The year-over-year decline in inventory in Bakersfield was 50.35 percent. Only Oakland's 51.91 percent drop surpassed it. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz., came in third with a 48 percent fall.

Others in the top 10 were Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.; Atlanta, Ga.; Orlando, Fla.; and Portland-Vancouver, Ore.-Wash. analyzed data on single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops.

The number of California homes entering the formal foreclosure process during the first quarter declined to its lowest level in almost five years, the result of a more stable economy and housing market, as well as policies that increasingly favor short sales, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 56,258 notices of default were recorded at county recorders offices during the first quarter of this year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. That was down 8.5 percent from 61,517 for the prior three months, and down 17.6 percent from 68,239 in first-quarter 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Last quarter's tally of 56,258 notices of default was the lowest since 53,943 were recorded in second-quarter 2007. Default notices peaked in first-quarter 2009 at 135,431.

Kern County had 1,640 notices of default in the first quarter of 2011 and 981 in the first quarter of 2012, a decline of 40.2 percent.

Sport Clips Haircuts has opened a new store at 11320 Ming Ave. in Bakersfield.

This is the chain's second location in Bakersfield. Another store at 9660 Hageman Road opened in July of last year.

Morgan Sokolow owns both franchises.

Headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, Sport Clips has more than 880 sports-themed barber shops nationwide.

The IRS has some advice for taxpayers who missed the tax filing deadline last week.

File as soon as possible. If you owe money, the quicker you file your return, the less penalties and interest you will have to pay.

Taxpayers who owe tax should pay as much as they can when they file their tax return, even if it isn't the total amount due, and then apply for an installment agreement to pay the remaining balance.

To request installment payments, file Installment Agreement Request Form 9465, or apply online using the IRS Online Payment Agreement Application available at

There are no penalties or interest for filing late if you are owed money, but if your return is not filed within three years you could forfeit your right to the refund.