**By Tony Garritano**
***According to CoreLogic, there were 56,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in December 2012, down from 71,000 in December 2011, a year-over-year decrease of 21 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell from 58,000 in November 2012 to the current 56,000, a decrease of 3 percent. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.1 million completed foreclosures across the country.
****Highlights as of December 2012:
****>> The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2012 were: California (100,000), Florida (98,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (57,000) and Georgia (49,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
****>> The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2012 were: District of Columbia (89), Hawaii (421), North Dakota (521), Maine (537) and West Virginia (645).
****>> The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (10.1 percent), New Jersey (7.0 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7 percent) and Illinois (4.5 percent).
****>> The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.8 percent) and Colorado (1.0 percent).
****“The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20 percent smaller than a year ago,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory.”
****“The rate of foreclosures continues to trend down, albeit at a slower rate as we exit 2012,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “This trend should continue into 2013 and is another positive signal that the gradual healing process in the housing market is gaining traction.”
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.