ATTOM: Foreclosure Activity at Nearly 2-Year High; MBA to Release 4Q National Delinquency Survey This Morning

Ahead of this morning’s release of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 4th Quarter National Delinquency Survey ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., reported 23,204 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 29 percent from a month ago and 139 percent from a year ago to its highest level since onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Foreclosure Market Report also said lenders repossessed 4,784 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures in January, up 57 percent from last month and 235 percent from last year – the seventh consecutive month with an annual increase in completed foreclosures.

“The increased level of foreclosure activity in January wasn’t a surprise,” said 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 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expired at the end of December.”

The report said states that had at least 100 or more REOs and that saw the greatest monthly increase in January included Michigan (up 622 percent); Georgia (up 163 percent); Texas (up 98 percent); Tennessee (up 50 percent); and Alabama (up 44 percent). Metros with a population greater than 200,000 that saw the greatest number of REOs included Detroit (1,013 REOs); Chicago (210 REOs); New York (129 REOs); Miami (113 REOs); and Philadelphia (107 REOs).

Sharga cautioned, however, that 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 60% lower than the number of foreclosure completions in 2019.

“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,” Sharga said.

Other report findings:

–Nationwide one in every 5,922 housing units had a foreclosure filing in January. States with the highest foreclosure rates were New Jersey (one in every 2,336 housing units); Illinois (one in every 2,740); Nevada (one in every 3,119); Michigan (one in every 3,127); and Ohio (one in every 3,251).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in January were Detroit (one in every 1,547 housing units); Atlantic City, N.J. (one in every 1,564); Cleveland (one in every 1,659); Columbia, S.C. (one in every 1,921); and Trenton, N.J. (one in every 2,299).

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

–Among metros, those that saw the greatest annual increase, included: Minneapolis (up 300 percent); Detroit (up 298 percent); San Antonio  (up 291 percent); Jacksonville, Fla. (up 259 percent); and Miami (up 242 percent).

This morning, MBA releases its quarterly National Delinquency Report (10:00 a.m. ET). The NDS, produced by MBA since 1953, covers 39 million loans on one- to four- unit residential properties. Loans surveyed are reported by more than 100 servicers, including independent mortgage companies and depositories such as large banks, community banks and credit unions.

MBA NewsLink will produce a special late morning issue on Thursday with the NDS results, along with commentary and analysis from MBA Vice President of Industry Analysis Marina Walsh, CMB.