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CoreLogic reports that the rate of foreclosures is falling in the U.S., although 3.4% of all homes with a mortgage in the company were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March. That amounts to 1.5 million homes and only 100,000 less than the previous March. Homeowners may not be facing the fire as often, but CoreLogic calculates that 3.5 million properties have been foreclosed upon in the U.S. since 2008. California, Florida and Michigan led the country in completed foreclosures in March 2012, while the lowest numbers were held by Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008 there have been 3.5 million residential property foreclosures in the United States, according to the latest data from analytics company CoreLogic.

Overall there were 69,000 completed foreclosures in March 2012 compared to 85,000 in March 2011 and 66,000 in February 2012. The largest improvement in the last 12 months has been in the states of Nevada and Arizona.

In the first quarter of 2012, there were 198,000 completed foreclosures compared to 232,000 in the first three months of 2011, the data also shows.

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5% in March 2011 and 1.4 million, or 3.4% in February 2012. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by nearly 100,000, or 6% in March 2012 compared to March 2011.
 
‘The overall delinquency level was unchanged in March, remaining at its lowest point since July 2009,’ said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
 
‘Non-judicial foreclosure markets like Nevada, Arizona, and California are experiencing significant improvements in their shares of delinquent borrowers. Some judicial foreclosure states are also improving, like Florida, but not to the extent of non-judicial markets,’ he explained.

The five states with the largest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2012 were California 150,000, Florida 92,000, Michigan 62,000, Arizona 58,000 and Texas 57,000. These five states account for 49.1% of all completed foreclosures nationally.
 
The five states with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida with 12.1%, New Jersey 6.6%, Illinois 5.4%, Nevada 4.9% and New York also 4.9%.

 

The five states with the lowest foreclosure rates were Wyoming at 0.7%, Alaska 0.8%, North Dakota also 0.8%, Nebraska 1.1% and South Dakota 1.4%.

The share of borrowers nationally that were more than 90 days late on their mortgage payment, including homes in foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) assets, fell to 7% in March 2012 from 7.5% in March 2011, and remained unchanged from 7% in February 2012.

Also in March, the inventory of REO assets held by servicers nationwide grew more slowly than the pace of REO sales, as measured by the distressed clearing ratio. The distressed clearing ratio is calculated by dividing the number of REO sales by the number of completed foreclosures. The higher the distressed clearing ratio, the faster the pace of REO sales relative to the pace of completed foreclosures. The distressed clearing ratio for March 2012 was 0.81, up from 0.76 in February 2012.
 
‘Compared to a year ago, the number of completed foreclosures has slowed. Since the foreclosure inventory is also coming down, this suggests that loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu are increasingly being used as an alternative to foreclosures to clear distressed assets in our communities. This is what was envisioned with the recent National Foreclosure Settlement, and can often be a better outcome for both borrowers and investors,’ said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.