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Property foreclosure declined in the United States in 2011

Completed foreclosures for all of 2011 totalled 830,000 compared with 1.1 million in 2010. In December 2011 there was a month on month decrease in completed foreclosures to 55,000 from 57,000 in November 2011.
The December 2011 completed foreclosures figure was also down from one year ago when it stood at 67,000. From the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.2 million completed foreclosures.

The new data from CoreLogic also shows that nationally 1.4 million homes, or 3.4% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the foreclosure inventory as of December 2011.
The foreclosure inventory is the stock of homes in the foreclosure process. A property moves into the foreclosure inventory when the mortgage servicer places the property into the foreclosure process after serious delinquency is reached and remains there until the foreclosure is completed.

The foreclosure inventory is measured only against homes with an outstanding mortgage, rather than against all homes. Nationwide, roughly one third of home owners own their homes outright.
Nationally, the number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased 8.4% in December 2011 compared to December 2010, a decline of 130,000 properties nationwide. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by 5.3% in November 2011 compared to November 2010 as well.
The share of borrowers nationally that were 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgage payments, classified as seriously delinquent, improved to 7.3% in December 2011 compared to 7.8% in December 2010.
According to CoreLogic, servicers nationwide stepped up the rate at which they were able to process distressed assets, the distressed clearing ratio, in December 2011. The distressed clearing ratio is calculated by dividing the number of REO sales by completed foreclosures. The higher the ratio, the faster the REO inventory is clearing. The distressed clearing ratio was 1.03, up from 0.94 in November 2011.
‘The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to shrink, and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is slowing. While foreclosure filings are being curtailed by a variety of judicial and regulatory constraints, mortgage servicers are completing REO sales faster than they are completing foreclosures,’ said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

‘This is the first time in a year that REO sales have outpaced completed foreclosures, and part of the reason for the decrease in the foreclosure inventory,’ he added.

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory were Florida with 11.9%, New Jersey with 6.4%, Illinois with 5.4%, Nevada with 5.3% and New York with 4.6%.

The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory were Wyoming with 0.7%, Alaska and North Dakota both with 0.8%, Nebraska with 1% and Washington with 1.3%.