Foreclosures declined slightly in Wisconsin in 2012. And there are still many foreclosures in the state that have been languishing for at least a few years.
More than 3,400 Wisconsin properties were in foreclosure in November, according to RealtyTrac. That was a 1.5% increase from October, but a nearly 22% decline from November last year.
However, total foreclosures in the state in 2012, from January to November (the latest figure available), total over 44,000 properties. That's a decline of a little over two percent when compared to the same time frame last year.
Russell Kashian is a Professor of Economics at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He says the situation is improving, slowly.
"It's a depressing topic but it's gradually working its way through," he says. "It took most of the
first decade of the century to get us to where we're at. It's not surprising it's going to take that equivalent amount of time to get us out it."
Kashian says many of the foreclosures that are working their way through the system right now in the state are actually cases of delayed foreclosures or what he calls "reforeclosures".
"We've found that about 35% percent of people who had foreclosures filed against them in 2012, were people who in 2010 or '11 had a foreclosure lawsuit filed against them," he says. "And for some in some fashion they were able to forestall the inevitable. In my opinion these are the deepest, hardest foreclosures, which tells me we are getting to the end."
Kashian is working on a report to be released soon that compiles statistics on all of those stalled foreclosures. He says the typical foreclosure can take 18 months to two years, however some foreclosures in the state have actually been lingering for up to five years.