The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure last year dropped 22.6% from 2014, according to the analytics firm CoreLogic.
Economist Frank Nothaft says there were fewer completed foreclosures nationwide than any year since 2006.
And while the country hasn't yet worked through all of the extra foreclosures to reach "normal" pre-recession levels, "we're getting there," says Nothaft. "I think in the next year or two, nationwide, we'll be coming down to those levels, finally."
But it will take Michigan longer to get through its foreclosure backlog.
The state saw only a 7% drop in completed foreclosures from 2014 to 2o15.
"Until we see more improvement in house prices and job growth and incomes on the part of homeowners (in Michigan)," says Nothaft, "then we'll continue to see some delayed improvement in the number of completed foreclosures."
Nothaf says he believes all of the foreclosures generated by the housing collapse and the Great Recession will be worked through by 2017 – more than ten years after the crisis began.