Despite drop, Atlanta No. 2 in finished foreclosures

Home foreclosures in metro Atlanta continue to decline, but the region was still second in the nation for repossessions in the past year.

Metro Atlanta trailed only Tampa-St. Petersburg, according to a report issued today by CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research firm.

Metro Atlanta had 14,418 completed foreclosures from July of last year to July of 2015, vs. 16,350 for metro Tampa-St.Pete.

Both regions saw improvement: Atlanta had 21 percent fewer foreclosures than the previous year, while Tampa saw a 15 percent decrease.

The housing crisis triggered a foreclosure tsunami. As housing prices spiraled down and layoffs surged to record levels, many homeowners fell behind in their payments and lost their homes.

At the peak of the crisis, foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta topped 50,000 in a five-month stretch of 2010, though not all notices led to foreclosures. The resulting distress sales dragged down values across the region.

The decline since than has corresponded with a steady, though spotty and uneven, rebound in the housing market. But the backwash has continued and there are still areas where foreclosures distort the market.

Some promising news: The rate of serious delinquencies and foreclosures in Atlanta was dramatically below Tampa’s during the month of August, CoreLogic said.