U.S. Foreclosure Activity Continues to Decline During Coronavirus Pandemic

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ATTOM Data Solutions, licensor of the nation’s most comprehensive foreclosure data and parent company to RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com), a foreclosure listings portal, today released its May 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market activity analysis, which shows there were a total of 8,767 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.

“The foreclosures industry in the United States remains on hold right now, mainly because of the moratorium imposed by Congress on lenders pursuing delinquent homeowners who have federally backed mortgages. The temporary ban, in place until June 30, has helped drive down the number of foreclosure cases to historically low levels and forced lenders to sit tight,” said Ohan Antebian, General Manager of Realty Trac. “When it’s lifted, lenders will be able to decide how fast to pursue these cases, which will have a ripple on all the ancillary activity connected to foreclosures. That will likely mean a surge of work for real estate lawyers, process servers, courts and others. But for now, the industry is running in place.”

Foreclosure completion numbers continue to decrease annually

Lenders repossessed 2,849 U.S. properties in May 2020 (REO), up 8 percent from the previous month but down 73 percent from a year ago.

States that saw the greatest actual number of completed foreclosures, as well as being down from last year, included Florida (311 REOs, down 78 percent from last year); New York (267 REOs, down 52 percent from last year); New Jersey (215 REOs, down 69 percent from last year); Illinois (205 REOs, down 67 percent from last year); and Maryland (199 REOs, down 53 percent from last year).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million and that had more than 10 completed foreclosures filed in May 2020, which saw the greatest annual decreases, included Detroit, MI (down 90 percent); Miami, FL (down 89 percent); Houston, TX (down 89 percent); Los Angeles, CA (down 86 percent); and Minneapolis, MN (down 85 percent).

Highest foreclosure rates in Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware

Nationwide one in every 15,556 housing units had a foreclosure filing in May 2020. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Maryland (one in every 4,307 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 6,132 housing units); Delaware (one in every 6,207 housing units); Illinois (one in every 8,381 housing units); and Pennsylvania (one in every 9,633 housing units).

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 200,000 people, those with the worst foreclosure rates in May 2020 were not your usual metro areas. With Utica, NY starting out the top 5 with one in every 1,877 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, followed by Scranton, PA (one in every 2,192 housing units); Mobile, AL (one in every 2,617 housing units); Trenton, NJ (one in every 3,014 housing units); and Peoria, IL (one in every 3,086 housing units).

Among 53 metro areas with at least 1 million people, those with the highest foreclosure rates in May 2020 were Baltimore, MD (one in every 3,293 housing units); Cleveland, OH (one in every 7,748 housing units); Riverside, CA (one in every 7,788 housing units); St. Louis, MO (one in every 8,127 housing units); and Philadelphia, PA (one in every 8,290 housing units).

Foreclosure starts drop 49 percent from previous month

Lenders started the foreclosure process for the first time on 4,356 property owners in May 2020, down 49 percent from the previous month and down 86 percent from a year ago.

States that saw the sharp declines year-over-year in foreclosure starts, included Illinois (down 86 percent); New Jersey (down 75 percent); California (down 71 percent); Texas (down 71 percent); and Maryland (down 59 percent).

Those larger metropolitan statistical areas that also experienced sharp year-over-year declines in foreclosure starts in May 2020, included New York, NY (down 88 percent); Los Angeles, CA (down 68 percent); Houston, TX (down 68 percent); Phoenix, AZ (down 53 percent); and Baltimore, MD (down 48 percent).

Interested in finding out more about our pre-foreclosure and foreclosure data?

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About ATTOM Data Solutions 

ATTOM Data Solutions provides foreclosure data licenses that can power various enterprise industries including real estate, insurance, marketing, government, mortgage and more. ATTOM multi-sources from 3,000 counties property tax, deed, mortgage, 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.

About RealtyTrac (Powered by ATTOM’s Data)

RealtyTrac.com is the premier foreclosure listing and search portal for investors and consumers looking to gain a competitive edge in the distressed market. Realtytrac.com grants access to insight that is typically only available to real estate professionals.

Please contact us if you have questions about the underlying data referenced in this article, or would like to have access to that data in the form of custom reports, API, Bulk File or DaaS.

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