Foreclosure numbers show major progress.

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The number of foreclosures completed nationwide in May 2015 was 41,000--that was down 64.9 percent from the peak for completed foreclosures reached in September 2010. Those numbers were part of a slew of improving statistics included in the May 2015 National Foreclosure Report released by Irvine, California-based CoreLogic. [paragraph] Since September 2008, approximately 5.7 million foreclosures have been completed across the country, according to CoreLogic. So the lengthy wave of defaults and foreclosures has been a negative factor weighing on the housing market for close to seven years.

But a bunch of new indicators document the progress made since the darkest days of the foreclosures crisis. CoreLogic reported that the serious delinquency rate in May was the lowest since January 2008. The national foreclosure inventory, which dropped to roughly 491,000 in May--or 1.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage--represented the lowest foreclosure rate since December 2007.

CoreLogic reported that the May 2015 total for completed foreclosures was down by 19.2 percent from May 2014 and the foreclosure inventory declined by 27.4 percent in that same period.

CoreLogic defines mortgages in serious delinquency as loans 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or real estate-owned (REO) properties. The May 2015 report found that the number of loans in that category fell by 22.7 percent from the year before. The number of seriously delinquent loans in May was 1.3 million.

CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said, "With 3 million jobs created during the past year, the improving labor market has helped more borrowers stay current on their mortgage loan."

But it's way too early for total victory to be declared in terms of the nation's foreclosure problems in the aftermath of the housing crash.

"While the nation's seriously delinquent rate--3.5 percent--is at its lowest level since January 2008, it remains very high in several big markets," said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic.

He added, "The Greater New York City region and Central Florida continue to have some of the highest serious delinquency rates, almost doubling the national level. Default rates remain elevated in the Chicago and Baltimore areas as well."

And to further indicate how far the nation's housing markets still have to go to reach pre-crisis norms, CoreLogic noted that the 41,000 foreclosures completed in May is still higher than the...

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