Foreclosure Activity Decreases 3 Percent From a Year Ago; Foreclosure Starts Decrease 11 Percent From a Year Ago; Average Foreclosure Timeline Decreases 19 Percent From Last Year

IRVINE, Calif. – April 16, 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 Q1 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 156,253 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2020, up 42 percent from the previous quarter but down 3 percent from a year ago.

The report also shows a total of 46,800 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2020, down 3 percent from the previous month and down 20 percent from March 2019 — the third consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity.

“As foreclosure activity across the country continued to decline in March, contributing to a run of quarterly declines, the number of filings remains just one-sixth of what it was following the Great Recession a decade ago,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This latest sign of the strong national housing market, however, comes with a huge caveat because it captures the pivotal month when millions of Americans started losing their jobs because of the economic fallout connected to the Coronavirus pandemic. Banks are temporarily holding off on foreclosures and we expect this will bring foreclosures even lower for at least the next few quarters.  However, with unemployment and other distress factors hitting the economy now, the numbers could rise significantly later this year and into next, depending on how many people can’t keep up with their payments.”

Markets below pre-recession levels include Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas

Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2020 was below pre-recession averages for 134 out of the 220 markets (61 percent) with a population greater than 200,000, including Denver, Colorado (89 percent below); Detroit, Michigan (80 percent below); Las Vegas, Nevada (80 percent below); Dallas-Fort Worth (79 percent below); and Indianapolis, Indiana (78 percent below).

Other major markets with first quarter 2020 foreclosure activity below pre-recession averages were Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Memphis and Grand Rapids.

Markets still above pre-recession levels include Baltimore, Honolulu, Allentown

First quarter 2020 foreclosure activity levels were still above pre-recession averages in 86 out of the 220 markets analyzed (39 percent), including Baltimore, Maryland (114 percent above); Honolulu, Hawaii (69 percent above); Allentown, Pennsylvania (53 percent above); Buffalo, New York (33 percent above); and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (18 percent above).

Other major markets with first quarter foreclosure activity above pre-recession averages included Birmingham, Alabama; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Greensboro, North Carolina; Syracuse, New York; and Winston, North Carolina.

Foreclosure starts decrease 11 percent from last year

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 81,251 U.S. properties in Q1 2020, up 1 percent from the previous quarter but down 11 percent from a year ago — the 19th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts.

Counter to the national trend, 11 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in Q1 2020, including Alaska (up 16 percent); Georgia (up 12 percent); California (up 10 percent); Delaware (up 3 percent); and Illinois (up 1 percent).

Bank repossessions down in 41 states and DC

Lenders repossessed 29,923 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1 2020, down 28 percent from the previous quarter and down 16 percent from a year ago — the 16th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. REOs.

Along with the District of Columbia, 41 states posted year-over-year decreases in REOs in the first quarter, including Tennessee (down 39 percent); Florida (down 37 percent); New Jersey (down 33 percent); Pennsylvania (down 32 percent); and Texas (down 29 percent).

Trenton, Atlantic City, Rockford post highest metro foreclosure rates in Q1 2020

Nationwide one in every 873 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2020. States with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter were New Jersey (one in 406 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in 433); Illinois (one in 448); Maryland (one in 583); and Florida (one in 628).

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in Q1 2020 were Trenton, New Jersey (one in every 286 housing units); Atlantic City, New Jersey (one in 293); Rockfield, Illinois (one in 296);  Lake Havasu City, Arizona (one in 331); and Peoria, Illinois (one in 351).

Other major metros with a population of at least 1 million and foreclosure rates in the top 25 highest nationwide, included Chicago, Illinois at No. 6, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at No. 7, Cleveland, Ohio at No. 9, Riverside, California at No. 12, and Jacksonville, Florida at No. 15.

Average foreclosure timeline decreases 19 percent in first quarter 2020

Properties foreclosed in the first quarter of 2020 had been in the foreclosure process an average of 673 days, down 19 percent from an average 834 days for properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter of 2019 and down 19 percent from an average of 835 days for properties foreclosed in the first quarter of 2019.

Click here to view the average days to foreclose historical graph

States with the longest average foreclosure timelines for properties foreclosed in Q1 2020 were Hawaii (1,673 days), Indiana (1,361 days), Louisiana (1,243 days), New York (1,226 days), and Florida (1,022 days).

States with the shortest average times to foreclose in Q1 2020 were Arkansas (157 days), Wyoming (172 days), New Hampshire (184 days), Virginia (190 days), and Minnesota (202 days).

March 2020 Foreclosure Activity High-Level Takeaways

  • Nationwide in March 2020 one in every 2,914 properties had a foreclosure filing.
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in March 2020 were Delaware (one in every 1,238 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 1,475 housing units); Illinois (one in every 1,558 housing units); Connecticut (one in every 1,931 housing units); and Florida (one in every 2,015 housing units).
  • 27,812 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in March 2020, up 3 percent from the previous month but down 14 percent from March 2019. March 2020 marked the 14th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts.
  • Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 9,091 U.S. properties in March 2020, down 13 percent from the previous month and down 25 percent from March 2019.

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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