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Are foreclosures finally receding from the high-water mark?

CoreLogic numbers show foreclosures down since last year

Notice of Foreclosure
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There were 48,000 completed foreclosures nationally in January, down from 59,000 in January 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 19%, but up 11.8% from the 43,000 reported in December 2013.

That’s the latest in the CoreLogic (CLGX) January National Foreclosure Report.

As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

"We are recovering, but we're not there yet," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "For every completed foreclosure, there are 954 mortgaged homes in non-judicial foreclosure states and 896 mortgaged homes in judicial foreclosure states. Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one for every 2000."

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 4.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.

As of January 2014, approximately 794,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.2 million in January 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 33%.  

The foreclosure inventory as of January represented 2% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.9% in January 2013. The foreclosure inventory was down 3.3% from December 2013, representing the 27th month of year-over-year decline.

"The painful tide of high foreclosures continues to recede as fewer borrowers are losing their homes and states are working through their shadow inventory," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We are entering 2014 with less than a million homes in the foreclosure inventory. We expect to see continued progress in the months ahead, but the judicial foreclosure states will continue to lag the rest of the country in working down their backlogs of foreclosed properties."

To see which states had the most and the least completed foreclosures in all of 2013, click below.

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