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Florida, Michigan Lead in Completed Foreclosures, But Other Numbers Do Not Correlate

florida michigan foreclosuresTwo states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis a few years ago were Florida and Michigan – in fact, in the January 2015 CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report released earlier this week, those two states accounted for 29 percent (162,000 out of 552,000) of the nation's completed foreclosures in the 12-month period from February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

Despite both states having high numbers of completed foreclosures for the previous 12 months, other foreclosure-related statistics between the two states do not correlate. Florida's foreclosure inventory rate of 3.5 percent for January (third among states behind New Jersey and New York) was more than double the national average for the month (1.4 percent), whereas Michigan's foreclosure inventor was less than half that number (0.6 percent).

"Michigan data include tax foreclosures, which can account for 20,000 to 30,000 per year," CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. "Michigan also has a relatively large housing stock, so the foreclosure rate may be less than the national average even though the number of foreclosed properties may appear large."

This disparity is also partly attributed to the fact that Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning the process has to pass through the court system to be completed. Michigan is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning the process can be completed without the courts. Overall in January, the foreclosure inventory rate in judicial states (2.4 percent) was more than triple that of non-judicial (0.7 percent).

"The foreclosure inventory will decline further in the coming year, although the pace may not be as rapid as last year," Nothaft said. "The foreclosure rate will eventually return to a level that's typical for a judicial foreclosure state, which is generally higher than for non-judicial states.  However, it will take at least a couple more years before that happens."

Michigan's serious delinquency rate of 3.0 percent in January was a full percentage point less than the national average (4.0 percent), which was at its lowest level in almost seven years. Florida's serious delinquency rate, on the other hand, was nearly double the national average at 7.7 percent – second among states only to New Jersey (8.9 percent).

Florida's 12-month sum of foreclosures in January (111,000) alone accounted for nearly one-fifth of the nation's total, according to CoreLogic. In fact, with 17,000 completed foreclosures in the previous 12 months, the core-based statistical area (CBSA) of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater accounted for about 3 percent of the nation's total for that period. Tampa had the highest serious delinquency rate (8.7 percent) and foreclosure inventory rate (4.5 percent) among all CBSAs. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford was third in 12 month sum of foreclosures with 15,000.

Those are the only two Florida CBSAs in the top 15 in 12-month sum of completed foreclosures. The only Michigan CBSA in the top 15 was Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, ranking 15th with 4,068.

Still, much progress has been made in Florida. The Sunshine State's foreclosure inventory dropped by 49 percent year-over-year in January (from 6.4 percent down to 3.5 percent), the second-largest decline only to Maine (49.5 percent).

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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