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Completed Foreclosures (REOs) Decrease 8 Percent From Last Year; Foreclosure Starts Increase 3 Percent From Last Month

IRVINE, Calif. — April 1, 2020 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its February 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 48,004 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — the lowest number of total foreclosure filings recorded, since we began tracking in April 2005.

“Foreclosure activity across the United States hit new lows in February, yet another marker of the nation’s long housing boom,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “However, as with just about anything connected to the housing market right now, the foreclosure situation is now totally in flux because of the ever-evolving coronavirus pandemic. Many lenders have suspended foreclosure proceedings, so the numbers will most likely continue to drop in the coming months. But after that, we may see an uptick in foreclosures as a result of dramatic economic impacts, such as more homeowners losing their jobs and falling behind on mortgage payments.”

Foreclosure completion numbers continue annual decline

Lenders repossessed 10,469 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in February 2020, up 1 percent from last month but down 8 percent from last year – second consecutive annual decline in completed foreclosures.

States that saw an annual decrease in REOs in February 2020 included: Florida (down 47 percent); New Jersey (down 37 percent); New York (down 18 percent); Texas (down 16 percent); and Maryland (down 13 percent).

Those major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population greater than 200,000 that saw the greatest number of REOs included: Chicago, IL (614 REOs); Riverside, CA (529 REOs); New York, NY (446 REOs); Los Angeles, CA (368 REOs); and Philadelphia, PA (328 REOs).

Highest foreclosure rates in New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware

Nationwide one in every 2,841 housing units had a foreclosure filing in February 2020. States with the highest foreclosure rates were New Jersey (one in every 1,457 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Illinois (one in every 1,507 housing units); Delaware (one in every 1,628 housing units); South Carolina (one in every 1,688 housing units); and Maryland (one in every 1,713 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in February were Bakersfield, CA (one in every 948 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Atlantic City, NJ (one in every 1,032 housing units); Columbia, SC (one in every 1,042 housing units); Rockford, IL (one in every 1,049 housing units); and Fayetteville, NC (one in every 1,089 housing units).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, with the worst foreclosure rates in February 2020 included: Riverside, CA (one in every 1,109 housing units); Chicago, IL (one in every 1,314 housing units); Philadelphia, PA (one in every 1,391 housing units); Cleveland, OH (one in every 1,469 housing units); and Baltimore, MD (one in every 1,605 housing units).

Foreclosure starts increase monthly in 20 states

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 27,058 U.S. properties in February 2020, up 3 percent from last month but down 9 percent from a year ago — the thirteenth consecutive month showing an annual decline.

States that saw double digit increases in foreclosure starts from last month included: Nevada (up 63 percent); Oregon (up 49 percent); Washington (up 47 percent); Texas (up 28 percent); and Michigan (up 20 percent).

Counter to the national trend, 31 states including Washington, DC posted month-over-month decreases in foreclosure starts in February 2020, including Minnesota (down 38 percent); Tennessee (down 26 percent); Virginia (down 19 percent); New York (down 15 percent); and Ohio (down 13 percent).


Report methodology

The ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the ATTOM Data Warehouse during the month and quarter. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the quarter may have been recorded in the previous quarter. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. ATTOM’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). For the annual, midyear and quarterly reports, if more than one type of foreclosure document is received for a property during the timeframe, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The annual, midyear, quarterly and monthly reports all check if the same type of document was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current year, quarter or month.

About ATTOM Data Solutions

ATTOM Data Solutions provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation’s population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes and enhances the data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk file licenses, property data APIs, real estate market trends, marketing lists, match & append and introducing the first property data delivery solution, a cloud-based data platform that streamlines data management – Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).

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Christine Stricker


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