U.S. Properties with Foreclosure Filings on the Rise as Pandemic Remains a Threat to Economy

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11,673 U.S. Properties Received a Foreclosure Filing in October 2020, Up 20 Percent from Last Month; Foreclosure Rates Highest in South Carolina, Nebraska and Alabama; Foreclosure Starts Uptick Monthly in North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois

IRVINE, Calif. – November 10, 2020 —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 October 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 11,673 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — in October 2020, up 20 percent from a month ago but down 79 percent from a year ago.

“It’s a little surprising to see foreclosure activity increasing in spite of the various foreclosure moratoria that are in place,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “It’s likely that many of these properties were already in the early stages of default prior to the pandemic, or are vacant and abandoned, which makes them candidates for expedited foreclosure actions.”

South Carolina, Nebraska and Alabama post highest state foreclosure rates

Nationwide one in every 11,683 housing units had a foreclosure filing in October 2020. States with the highest foreclosure rates were South Carolina (one in every 6,133 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Nebraska (one in every 6,246 housing units); Alabama (one in every 6,660 housing units); Louisiana (one in every 7,078 housing units); and Florida (one in every 7,208 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in October 2020 were Peoria, IL (one in every 1,543 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Champaign, IL (one in every 1,674 housing units); Beaumont, TX (one in every 1,880 housing units); Birmingham, AL (one in every 1,993 housing units); and Houma, LA (one in every 2,964 housing units).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million that posted the worst foreclosure rates in October 2020, including Birmingham, AL, were Cleveland, OH (one in every 4,511 housing units); Jacksonville, FL (one in every 5,119 housing units); New Orleans, LA (one in every 6,397 housing units); and Miami, FL (one in every 6,794 housing units).

Foreclosure starts increase monthly nationwide

A total of 6,042 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in October 2020, up 21 percent from last month but down 79 percent from a year ago.

While foreclosure starts are down annually in many states across the nation, a few states did see annual increases in foreclosure starts in October 2020, including Idaho (up 109 percent) and Nebraska (up 56 percent). Those states that posted the greatest monthly increases and that had 200 or more foreclosure starts in October 2020, included North Carolina (up 294 percent); Ohio (up 74 percent); Illinois (up 30 percent); New York (up 24 percent); and South Carolina (up 18 percent).

Among metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, those with the greatest number of foreclosure starts in October 2020 were New York, NY (485 foreclosure starts); Chicago, IL (240 foreclosure starts); Los Angeles, CA (196 foreclosure starts); Miami, FL (151 foreclosure starts); and Houston, TX (143 foreclosure starts).

“It’s probably not a surprise that almost all of the metro areas where foreclosure activity increased on a month-over-month basis are also places where unemployment rates are higher than the national average, and in many cases have been hotspots of COVID-19 infections,” Sharga noted. “Still, it’s important to keep the numbers in context – even with these increases, overall foreclosure actions are still below last year’s levels by about 80%.”

Bank repossessions see a 28 percent increase from last month

Lenders foreclosed (REO) on a total of 2,577 U.S. properties in October 2020, up 28 percent from last month but down 81 percent from a year ago.

States that posted the greatest number of completed foreclosures (REOs) in October 2020, included Alabama (268 REOs filed); Florida (261 REOs filed); California (194 REOs filed); Texas (186 REOs filed); and Pennsylvania (145 REOs filed).

Among the metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, those with the greatest number of REOs filed in October 2020, included Birmingham, AL (233 REOs filed); Philadelphia, PA (98 REOs filed); New York, NY (97 REOs filed); Chicago, IL (62 REOs filed); and Miami, FL (52 REOs filed).

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.

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 Property 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.

Media Contact:

Christine Stricker

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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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