CoreLogic has released its National Foreclosure Report, which provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, there were 55,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in November 2012, down from 72,000 in November 2011, a year-over-year decrease of 23 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell from 59,000 in October 2012 to the current 55,000, a decrease of six percent. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000-2006. 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 four million completed foreclosures across the country. “The continued fall in completed foreclosures is a positive supply-side contribution in many regions of the U.S.,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We still have a long way to go to return to historic norms, but this trend is firmly in the right direction.” Approximately 1.2 million homes, or three percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of November 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in November 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was down about three percent from October 2012-November 2012. Year-over-year, the foreclosure inventory was down 18 percent. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process. “The pace of completed foreclosures has significantly improved over a year ago as short sales gain popularity as a disposition method. Additionally, the inventory of foreclosed properties continues to decline while the housing market demonstrates an ongoing ability to absorb the distressed sales that result from completed foreclosures,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. Highlights as of November 2012: ►The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2012 were: California (102,000), Florida (94,000), Michigan (75,000), Texas (58,000) and Georgia (52,000).These five states account for 50 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally. ►The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2012 were: South Dakota (10), District of Columbia (62), Hawaii (415), North Dakota (491) and Maine (597). ►The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (10.4 percent), New Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7 percent) and Illinois (4.7 percent). ►The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.7 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.8 percent) and South Dakota (1.0 percent). The report separates state data into judicial vs. non-judicial foreclosure state categories. In judicial foreclosure states, lenders must provide evidence to the courts of delinquency in order to move a borrower into foreclosure, while in non-judicial foreclosure states lenders can issue notices of default directly to the borrower without court intervention. This is an important distinction since judicial states as a rule have longer foreclosure timelines thus affecting foreclosure statistics. A completed foreclosure occurs when a property is auctioned and results in the purchase of the home at auction by either a third party, such as an investor, or by the lender. If the home is purchased by the lender, it is moved into the lender’s real estate-owned (REO) inventory. In “foreclosure by advertisement” states, a redemption period begins after the auction and runs for a statutory period, e.g., six months. During that period the borrower may regain the foreclosed home by paying all amounts due as calculated under the statute. For purposes of this Foreclosure Report, because so few homes are actually redeemed following an auction, it is assumed that the foreclosure process ends in “foreclosure by advertisement” states at the completion of the auction. The foreclosure inventory represents the number and share of mortgaged homes that have been placed into the process of foreclosure by the mortgage servicer. Mortgage servicers start the foreclosure process when the mortgage reaches a specific level of serious delinquency as dictated by the investor for the mortgage loan. The data in this report accounts for only first liens against a property and does not include secondary liens. The foreclosure inventory is measured only against homes that have an outstanding mortgage. Homes with no mortgage liens can never be in foreclosure and are therefore excluded from the analysis. Approximately one-third of homes nationally are owned outright and do not have a mortgage. CoreLogic has approximately 85 percent coverage of U.S. foreclosure data.