Magic Number of the Day: 5.05 million

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Angela and Michael Daniels help clean up in front of a foreclosed home, owned by Bank of America, on May 3, 2012 in Miami.

That’s the number of U.S. homes that are in foreclosure or for which mortgage payments are at least 90 days past due, according to a Bloomberg News estimate from data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That’s a decrease from 5.13 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, 5.61 million in the first quarter of 2011 and 6.52 million in the first quarter of 2010.

The share of home loans more than 90 days late fell to 3.06 percent from 3.11 percent in the first quarter of this year. The share of loans 30 days late dropped to 7.4 percent from 7.58 percent.

Crossroads GPS, a Republican group with ties to Karl Rove, announced a television advertising campaign this week that attacks President Obama on home foreclosures and other issues.

Obama has said the housing market probably is the “biggest drag” on the economy and called on Congress to take steps to help more homeowners refinance their homes. Republicans in Congress have said “they want to let the housing market hit bottom and just hope for the best,” Obama said May 11 in Reno, Nevada.

(Updated 3:13 p.m. with additional numbers.)

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