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Foreclosures: Closing in on Pre-Pandemic ‘Normal’

Attom: Foreclosures remain low but might hit normal “sometime in early 2023.” Fla. ranks sixth nationwide, with one foreclosure for every 560 homes with a loan.

IRVINE, Calif. – Attom’s Midyear 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report found that 164,581 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions.

The number includes the first six months of 2022 and is 153% higher year-to-year, but the figures are skewed by numbers generated during the pandemic when government orders slowed the process.

Total U.S. foreclosures 2008-2022

2009 to 2022 chart shows big drop in U.S. foreclosures

“Foreclosure activity across the United States continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023.”

Of the 223 metro areas Attom analyzed, it saw a decrease in foreclosures in only seven of them – none in Florida.

In a state-by-state comparison, Florida ranked sixth.

Nationwide 0.12% of all housing units (one in every 854) had a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2022. States with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of 2022 were:

  1. Illinois (0.26% of housing units with a foreclosure filing)
  2. New Jersey (0.24%)
  3. Ohio (0.21%)
  4. Delaware (0.20%)
  5. South Carolina (0.19%).
  6. Florida (0.18%)
  7. Nevada (0.18%)
  8. Indiana (0.16%)
  9. Georgia (0.13%);
  10. Michigan (0.13%)

Of metros (population at least 200,000) with high foreclosure rates, Jacksonville ranked third and Lakeland ranked seventh:

  1. Cleveland, Ohio (0.40% of housing units with foreclosure filings)
  2. Atlantic City, New Jersey (0.33%)
  3. Jacksonville (0.31%)
  4. Chicago, Illinois (0.30%)
  5. Columbia, South Carolina (0.30%)
  6. Rockford, Illinois (0.30%)
  7. Lakeland, Florida (0.27%)
  8. Akron, Ohio (0.24%)
  9. Fayetteville, North Carolina (0.24%)
  10. Trenton, New Jersey (0.23%)

Foreclosure starts – the first step in the process and, for some homeowners, the only step until they get caught up – rose 219% year-to-year in the first half of 2022. California led the list in total number of foreclosure starts (12,805), with Florida coming in second (11,448), followed by Tennessee (10,970), Illinois (8,411) and Ohio (6,987).

“It’s important to note that many of the foreclosure starts we’re seeing today – in fact, much of the overall foreclosure activity we’re seeing right now – is on loans that were either already in foreclosure or were more than 120 days delinquent prior to the pandemic,” Sharga says.

“Many of these loans were protected by the government’s foreclosure moratorium, or they would have already been foreclosed on two years ago. There’s very little delinquency or default activity that’s truly new in the numbers we’re tracking.”

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