Properties with Foreclosure Filings Uptick as Pandemic Continues

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., reported nearly 10,000 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in August, up 11 percent from a month ago but down 81 percent from a year ago.

The firm’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed 9,889 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings–default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions–in August.

While foreclosure activity remains well below 2019 totals, there was a “significant increase” in foreclosure starts in August compared to July, said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at ATTOM subsidiary RealtyTrac. “Several states–including Florida and New York–that have had foreclosure moratoria in place have recently loosened some of their restrictions, which may explain the unexpected bump in the monthly numbers,” he said.

Nationwide, one in every 13,791 housing units had a foreclosure filing in August, ATTOM reported. States with the highest foreclosure rates included South Carolina (one in every 6,798 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Florida (one in every 7,338 housing units), Iowa (one in every 7,924 housing units), Maryland (one in every 8,435 housing units) and New Mexico (one in every 9,145 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in August were Shreveport, La. (one in every 3,253 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Ocala, Fla. (one in every 3,283 housing units); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (one in every 3,429 housing units); Lakeland, Fla (one in every 3,516 housing units) and McAllen, Texas (one in every 3,535 housing units), the report said.

In large metropolitan areas with populations exceeding one million people, the worst foreclosure rates included Jacksonville, Fla. (one in every 5,877 housing units), Baltimore (one in every 5,988 housing units), Philadelphia (one in every 6,557 housing units), Louisville, Ky. (one in every 6,600 housing units) and Miami (one in every 6,757 housing units), ATTOM said.

While foreclosure starts are down annually in every state, some states saw slight increases from last month, Sharga said. In fact, several states posted double-digit month-over-month increases in foreclosure starts, including Florida, New York, Indiana, Mississippi and New Jersey.

“Many courthouses across the country have been closed or have had their caseloads dramatically reduced during the pandemic,” Sharga said. “It will be interesting to see if foreclosure starts continue to increase as these courthouses begin to re-open.”