Thursday, March 29, 2012

CoreLogic: Almost 65,000 completed foreclosures in February 2012

by Bill McBride on 3/29/2012 01:03:00 PM

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic® Reports Almost 65,000 Completed Foreclosures Nationally in February

CoreLogic ... today released its National Foreclosure Report for January, which provides monthly data on completed foreclosures, foreclosure inventory and 90+ delinquency rates. There were approximately 65,000 completed foreclosures in February 2012, compared to 66,000 in February 2011, and 71,000 in January 2012. The number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in February was 862,000. From the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.4 million completed foreclosures.

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the foreclosure inventory as of February 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.6 percent, in February 2011 and 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent, in January 2012. Nationally, the number of borrowers in the foreclosure inventory decreased by 115,000, a decline of 7.6 percent, in February 2012 compared to February 2011.

"The pace of completed foreclosures is down slightly compared to January, running at an annualized pace of 670,000, but compares favorably to the pace of completed foreclosures in February a year ago. Even though the pace of completed foreclosures has slowed, the overall foreclosure inventory is decreasing because REO sales were up in February,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “With the spring buying season upon us, the inventory may decline further as the pace of distressed-asset sales rises along with the rest of the housing market.”
This is a new monthly report and will help track the number of completed foreclosures, and to see if the lenders are starting to clear the foreclosure inventory backlog following the mortgage settlement.

Notes: The sequence is 1) a loan goes delinquent, 2) if it doesn't cure, after several months, the foreclosure process begins (this is called the "foreclosure inventory"), 3) then the foreclosure is completed and becomes REO (lender Real Estate Owned), and then 4) the REO is sold. Sometimes, during this process, the loan will cure or a short sale approved, so not all loans in the foreclosure inventory are future "completed foreclosures".

When CoreLogic reports "completed foreclosures", they are discussing the number of homes moving from the foreclosure process to REO.

Another vendor, LPS, reported 91,086 completed foreclosures in January (significantly above the revised 71,000 reported by CoreLogic). I've heard that the LPS February numbers will probably be higher than CoreLogic too (LPS will release next week).

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