ATTOM: Fewer Foreclosure Filings as Moratoria Extend into 2021

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said foreclosure filings continued to fall last month amid the budding holiday season and federal and state foreclosure moratoria.

The company’s monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed 10,042 properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — in November, down by 14 percent from a month ago and down by 80 percent from a year ago.

“It’s not unusual to see foreclosure activity slow down beginning in November and through the holiday season,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “Both foreclosure starts and repossessions were down about 80% on a year-over-year basis, but it might be worth noting that a few cities that may be vulnerable to the pandemic-driven flight from urban areas to the suburbs – like New York City, Chicago, and Miami – were among the markets with the highest levels of foreclosure actions.”

The report said nationwide one in every 13,581 housing units had a foreclosure filing in November. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida (one in every 7,109 housing units); Illinois (one in every 7,285 housing units); Oklahoma (one in every 8,128 housing units); New Mexico (one in every 9,236 housing units); and Delaware (one in every 9,310 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in November were Champaign, Ill, (one in every 3,636  housing units); Shreveport, La. (one in every 3,806 housing units); Macon, Ga. (one in every 3,947 housing units); Davenport, Iowa (one in every 4,038 housing units); and Evansville, Ind. (one in every 4,296 housing units).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million that posted the worst foreclosure rates in November were St. Louis (one in every 4,454 housing units); Cleveland (one in every 5,368 housing units); Jacksonville (one in every 5,877 housing units); Louisville, Ky. (one in every 6,373 housing units), and Birmingham, Ala. (one in every 6,591 housing units).

The report said 5,256 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in November, down 13 percent from last month and down 79 percent from a year ago. Among metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, those with the greatest number of foreclosure starts in November 2020 were New York (454 foreclosure starts); St. Louis (208 foreclosure starts), Chicago (207 foreclosure starts); Miami (151 foreclosure starts); and Los Angeles (147 foreclosure starts).

Lenders foreclosed on 2,010 U.S. properties in November, down 22 percent from last month and down 86 percent from a year ago. States that posted the greatest number of completed foreclosures included Florida (273); Illinois (167); California (164); Arizona (141); and Georgia (117).