The provision for loan losses was $1.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, which was $877,000 more than the provision for the same period of the prior year. For the year ended 2012, the provision for loan losses was $3.5 million, which was $1.8 million less than the provision for the prior year. The higher provision for loan losses during the fourth quarter was related to organic growth in the Company’s loan portfolio and $431,000 of charge-offs related to the credit losses resulting from the Heartland loans acquired that exceeded the loan discounts recorded at the time of the acquisition. As a percentage of total loans, non-performing loans were 1.97% on December 31, 2012, down from 2.08% on September 30, 2012, and 2.02% on December 31, 2011.
The ratio of allowance for loan losses to total loans decreased to 1.52% as of December 31, 2012 from 1.89% as of December 31, 2011. The decrease in the ratio was primarily due to the increase in total loans resulting from the Heartland acquisition in which loans were recorded at fair value with no allowance allocated to them at December 31, 2012.
Non-performing loans totaled $23.8 million on December 31, 2012, down from $24.4 million on September 30, 2012, and up from $20.1 million on December 31, 2011. The increase from December 31, 2011 was due to the Heartland acquisition. Excluding Heartland, non-performing loans would have declined to $16.5 million at December 31, 2012 from $19.1 million at September 30, 2012.
At December 31, 2012, loans acquired in the Heartland acquisition represented $7.3 million in non-performing, $18.1 million in substandard and $3.4 million in delinquent loans, which compares to $5.3 million in non-performing, $20.0 million in substandard and $4.6 million in delinquent loans at September 30, 2012.Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) totaled $2.6 million on December 31, 2012, representing no change from September 30, 2012, but down from $2.8 million on December 31, 2011. During the fourth quarter, eight properties with a book value of $866,000 as of September 30, 2012 were sold, and seven properties with a book value of $975,000 as of December 31, 2012 were transferred into OREO. Another four properties were written down by $109,000. On December 31, 2012, OREO was comprised of 20 properties. Of these properties, five totaling $1.3 million were commercial real estate and 15 totaling $1.3 million were residential real estate.