Foreclosure statistics continue to improve in the "first look" at January data provided Thursday by Black Knight Financial Services.  While the time needed to complete a foreclosure increased yet again to 943 days, many of the other measures of mortgage distress hit new post-crisis lows.

Black Knight says that the number of loans in foreclosure is now the lowest since November 2008, only a few months after the beginning of the crisis.  The pre-sale or foreclosure inventory rate in January was 2.35 percent, a 5.32 percent decrease from December and 31.17 percent lower than in January 2013.  The company estimates there are 1,175,000 homes in some stage of foreclosure.

The delinquency rate, mortgages 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, dropped 10.70 percent over the 12 months ended in January to 6.27 percent or 3,140,000 delinquent mortgages.  This is a decline of 2.96 percent since December

Of the total delinquent loans 1,289,000 were more than 90 days past due but not in foreclosure, a rate of 4.92 percent.  This is the lowest serious delinquency rate in five years.

Distressed properties including those 30 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure totaled 4.315 million at the end of January.  The five states with the highest rates of non-current loans were Mississippi, New Jersey, Florida, New York, and Louisiana.

Black Knight statistics are derived from a loan-level database which covers approximately 70 percent of the mortgage servicing market.  More complete information will be provided in the company's monthly Mortgage Monitor which will be published early in March.