There were 69,000 completed foreclosures in March, an increase from February's report of 66,000 but down from 85,000 in March 2011, according to new data from Santa Ana, Calif.-based CoreLogic.
Through the first quarter, there were 198,000 completed foreclosures, down from 232,000 through the first quarter of 2011. Since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, CoreLogic estimates there have been approximately 3.5 million completed foreclosures.
Approximately 1.4 million homes – or 3.4% of all homes with a mortgage – were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March, unchanged from February and down from 1.5 million homes (3.5%) in March 2011. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by nearly 100,000, or 6%, in March 2012 compared to March 2011.
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 from 7.5% in March 2011, and remained unchanged from February.
The five states with the largest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 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 overall delinquency level was unchanged in March, remaining at its lowest point since July 2009,’ says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. ‘Nonjudicial 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 nonjudicial markets.’