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02/28/2013

Number of home foreclosures falling nationwide, CoreLogic reports says

 Lenders completed about 760,632 foreclosures nationwide in the 12 months ending Jan. 31, according to a CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report released today.

Texas was among the top five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures during that 12-month period, with 59,232 foreclosures, CoreLogic said.

California led with 96,051 foreclosures, followed by Florida with 95,492, and Michigan with 73,761 foreclosures.

Approximately 1.2 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure in the U.S., known as the foreclosure inventory, as of Jan. 31 compared to 1.5 million at Jan. 31, 2012, a 21 percent year-over-year decrease, said Irvine-based CoreLogic, a residential property information, analytics and services provider.

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 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country, CoreLogic said.

"The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009, with less than 3 percent of all mortgages in foreclosure," said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

Added Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, "We still have over a million homes in some stage of foreclosure which is too high, but the continuing downward trend in completed foreclosures is a very positive signal that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We expect this trend will continue in 2013 as the housing market stabilizes and purchase activity picks up."

The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending Jan. 31 were District of Columbia, 96; Hawaii, 458; North Dakota, 508; Maine, 538; and West Virginia, 602.

Approximately one-third of homes nationally are owned outright and do not have a mortgage, CoreLogic said.

_ Sandra Baker

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