Crunching the Latest Foreclosure Numbers

US Underwater Mortgages

By Christine DiGangi

There are fewer than 2 million mortgages in serious delinquency as of November, a 26 percent decline from the previous year and a 5-year low, according to the monthly CoreLogic Foreclosure Report. A seriously delinquent mortgage means the homeowner is more than 90 days past-due on payments and is in danger of default and, eventually, foreclosure. The amount of homes in foreclosure has continued to fall, with November as the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year of decline.

There were roughly 812,000 homes in foreclosure as of November, down 34 percent from the 1.2 million in foreclosure in November 2012, and that's a 4.6 percent decline in foreclosures from October 2013. "Consumer confidence is definitely up as the economic rebound gathers more steam," said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi, according to the report. "As the negative equity crisis abates and home prices continue to rise, most people are prioritizing the payment of their mortgage obligations."

In November, 46,000 foreclosures were completed, bringing that metric closer to pre-crisis levels and 29 percent lower than it was at the same time in 2012 (between 2000 and 2006, about 21,000 foreclosures were completed per month, on average). Looking at the big picture, about 4.7 million foreclosures have been completed since the onset of the financial crises in 2008. But the rebound has been uneven across the country.

Nearly half of completed foreclosures over the previous 12 months were concentrated in five states, and while 35 states had a foreclosure inventory below the national average (about 2.1 percent of U.S. homes with a mortgage are in foreclosure), Florida and New Jersey had foreclosure rates in excess of 6 percent.

Florida is an interesting subject when it comes to foreclosure. Not only did it have the highest foreclosure rate in November (6.6 percent), it also reported the greatest year-over-year decline in foreclosure rate (down 3.8 percentage points) and had the highest number of completed foreclosures over the last year. It was the only judicial state among the top five for completed foreclosures in the last 12 months.

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