Tuesday, May 01, 2012

CoreLogic: 69,000 completed foreclosures in March 2012

by Bill McBride on 5/01/2012 09:32:00 AM

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic® Reports 69,000 Completed Foreclosures Nationally in March

CoreLogic ... today released its National Foreclosure Report for March, which provides monthly data on completed foreclosures, foreclosure inventory and 90+ day delinquency rates. There were 69,000 completed foreclosures in March 2012 compared to 85,000 in March 2011 and 66,000 in February 2012. Through the first quarter of 2012, there were 198,000 completed foreclosures compared to 232,000 through the first quarter of 2011. Since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.5 million completed foreclosures.

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in March 2011 and 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent, in February 2012. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by nearly 100,000, or 6.0 percent, 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."
...
"Compared to a year ago, the number of completed foreclosures has slowed," said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic. "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 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.

So far we haven't seen a surge in completed foreclosures - or a large increase in REO (lender Real Estate Owned) coming on the market. The foreclosure inventory is also declining (properties in the foreclosure process), although the decline is slow according to recent LPS data. My guess is the "surge" in foreclosures will be less than many people expect (see from two weeks ago: Some thoughts on housing and foreclosures).

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