November Foreclosures Down from October, Up from Year Ago

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., reported 19,479 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in November, down by 5 percent from October but up by 94 percent from a year ago.

The company’s monthly U.S. Foreclosure Markt Report said November marked the seventh consecutive month of annual foreclosure filing increases.

“After an initial surge following the end of the government’s moratorium, it appears that foreclosure activity may be slowing down as we move towards the end of the year,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “Despite concerns about a pandemic-driven wave of defaults, mortgage delinquency rates and foreclosure starts have continued to decline due to government and industry programs, and a recovering U.S. economy.”

The report said one in every 7,055 housing units had a foreclosure filing in November. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Illinois (one in every 3,187 housing units); Florida (one in every 3,319 units); Ohio (one in every 3,669 units); Delaware (one in every 3,800 units); and New Jersey (one in every 4,096 units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in November 2021 were Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 1,746 units); Lakeland, Fla. (one in every 2,345 units); Ocala, Fla. (one in every 2,485 units); Savannah, Ga. (one in every 2,618 units); and Miami (one in every 2,626 units).

On a monthly basis, ATTOM said lenders started the foreclosure process on 10,471 properties in November, down 3 percent from last month but up 99 percent from a year ago.

“The fact that foreclosure starts declined despite hundreds of thousands of borrowers exiting the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program over the last few months is very encouraging,” Sharga said. “It suggests that the ‘forbearance equals foreclosure’ narrative was incorrect, and that the efforts of the government and the mortgage servicing industry have prevented potentially millions of unnecessary foreclosures from happening due to COVID-19.”

The report said lenders repossessed 2,292 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures in November, down 24 percent from last month, the first monthly decrease since May but up 14 percent from last year.