The foreclosure situation in Utah is improving. That’s according to two new reports that show a decline in the state’s rate of problem loans.

Among states, Utah had the 17th-lowest percentage of loans in the foreclosure process, according to a report from CoreLogic on December 2011 data.

At that time, 1.7 percent of Utah homes with a mortgage were in the foreclosure inventory compared to 3.4 percent nationally. CoreLogic, a data and analytics company, defines foreclosure inventory as the stock of homes in the foreclosure process.

Compared to a year ago, Utah’s foreclosure inventory declined 0.7 percent. Nationwide, the decrease wasn’t as large, with foreclosure inventory down 0.2 percent.

“The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to shrink, and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is slowing,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

Utah’s share of seriously delinquent loans was also lower than the national rate. In December, 5 percent of Utah loans with a mortgage were more than 90 days late compared to 7.3 percent for the U.S.

The findings were similar to a separate report from LPS Applied Analytics. In that study, 2 percent of Utah loans were in foreclosure and 6.8 percent were seriously delinquent at the end of December. Again, the national rates were higher at 4.1 percent for foreclosures, 8.2 percent for delinquencies and 12.3 percent for total non-current loans.

At 8.8 percent, Utah had the 13th-lowest percentage of non-current loans compared to other states, according to LPS. Utah’s combined foreclosure and delinquency rate fell nearly 10 percent from the prior December. That rate peaked in February 2010 when 10.6 percent of Utah loans outstanding were not current.

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