July Foreclosure Activity Dips Slightly

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., released its July U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, showing 12,483 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, down 4 percent from a month ago but up 40 percent from a year ago.

“The end of the government’s moratorium won’t result in millions of foreclosures, but we’re likely to see a steady increase in default activity for the balance of the year,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “Much of the foreclosure volume will come from the reinstatement of foreclosure proceedings on properties that had already been in default prior to the pandemic, and new foreclosure activity on vacant and abandoned properties.”

Key report findings:

–Nationwide one in every 11,009 housing units had a foreclosure filing in July. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Nevada (one in every 3,626 housing units); Delaware (one in every 4,206 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 4,809 housing units); Kansas (one in every 5,609 housing units); and Illinois (one in every 6,381 housing units).

–Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in July were Atlantic City, N.J. (one in every 2,290 housing units); Macon, Ga. (one in every 2,853 housing units); Las Vegas (one in every 2,884 housing units); Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 3,658 housing units); and Champaign, Ill. (one in every 3,802 housing units).

–Lenders started the foreclosure process on 6,572 U.S. properties in July, down 4 percent from last month but up 45 percent from a year ago.

–Lenders repossessed 2,418 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in July, up 5 percent from last month and up 12 percent from last year.

“Increased numbers of foreclosure starts may not result in a similar number of bank repossessions,” Sharga said. “Homeowner equity is at an all-time high, and many financially-distressed borrowers should have the opportunity to sell their homes – probably at a profit – rather than lose them to a foreclosure auction.”