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Jan. Foreclosures: Up Dramatically, Low Historically

ATTOM’s Jan. report finds foreclosures up 29% month-to-month and 139% year-to-year. But the eviction ban skewed numbers, and “normal” is expected in late 2022.

IRVINE, Calif. – ATTOM released its January 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which finds 23,204 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – a 29% month-to-month increase and 139% year-to-year increase.

However, foreclosures remain an extremely small part of the total housing market, and it doesn’t appear that will change soon.

“The increased level of foreclosure activity in January wasn’t a surprise,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “Foreclosures typically slow down during the holidays in November and December and pick back up after the first of the year. This year, the increases were probably a little more dramatic than usual since foreclosure restrictions placed on mortgage servicers by the CFPB expired at the end of December.”

Sharga says it’s important to keep foreclosure numbers in context.

“Foreclosure completions are still far below normal levels – less than half as many as in January of 2020 before the pandemic was declared, and about 60% lower than the number of foreclosure completions in 2019,” he says.

“We’re likely to continue seeing large year-over-year percentage increases for the rest of this year, but it’s also likely that foreclosure activity will remain below historically normal levels until the end of 2022.”

Foreclosure completions

For the seventh month in a row, completed foreclosures – property that exited the process after a bank sale – rose 57% month-to-month and 235% year-to-year.

Florida, however, was not one of the top states for an increase, even though total completed foreclosures remained low nationwide. According to ATTOM, the top five states for January 2022 are: Michigan (up 622%); Georgia (up 163%); Texas (up 98%); Tennessee (up 50%); and Alabama (up 44%).

However, one Florida metro area, Miami, made the top five list, albeit with only 113 foreclosure completions. It ranked fourth after Detroit (1,013 REOs), Chicago (210 REOs), New York (129 REOs), Miami (113 REOs) and Philadelphia (107 REOs).

Foreclosure starts

While Florida did not rank in the top five for foreclosure completions, however, it ranked No. 1 for foreclosures starts – homeowners who entered the early phase of the process. Miami and Jacksonville made the top 5 list for metro areas.

January foreclosure starts increased in 33 states including the District of Colombia – 11,854 U.S. properties, up 29% from last month and 126% from a year ago.

Those states that saw the greatest number of foreclosures starts in January 2022 included: Florida (1,238 foreclosure starts), California (1,226 foreclosure starts), Texas (1,003 foreclosure starts), Illinois (757 foreclosure starts) and Ohio (665 foreclosure starts).

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and at least 100 or more foreclosure starts in January 2022, those that saw the greatest annual increase, included: Minneapolis (up 300%), Detroit (up 298%), San Antonio (up 291%), Jacksonville (up 259%) and Miami (up 242%).

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