Foreclosures down nationwide in October

Foreclosures nationwide in October dropped 25 percent compared to the previous month and 17 percent year-over-year, a CoreLogic report released today shows.

Completed foreclosures in the month of October totaled 58,000, down from 70,000 in October 2011 and from 77,000 in September 2012, the report shows. The decline was partly due to alternative disposition methods, meaning forebearances, loan modifications and refinancing, said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in the report.

Since the financial crisis began, 3.9 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Prior to the crash, the national monthly average for foreclosed homes was about 21,000.

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New York state was one of the five states — joining Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and Nevada — with the highest number of foreclosures as a percentage of homes with a mortgage, with 5.3 percent of mortgaged homes here in foreclosure, according to the report.

But all in all, a decrease in foreclosure activity is a signpost on the road to recovery, CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi said in a statement from the firm.

“A lower foreclosure inventory is a good indicator of improving housing markets,” he said. “The downward trend in foreclosure inventories over the past year is yet another signal that a recovery in housing is gaining traction.” –Guelda Voien