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Foreclosure Filings Up 160% YoY

ATTOM Data [1], a real estate data company, has released its latest iteration of the Foreclosure Market Report [2] for April 2022 which has found that there were a total of 30,674 properties with foreclosure filings against them, down 8% from March which saw 33,333, but still up 160% from a year ago. Foreclosure activity has now surpassed numbers seen before the pandemic took hold of the nation two years ago, and this marks the end of an eleven consecutive month streak of increasing foreclosure activity. 

Rick Sharga [3], the EVP of Market Intelligence for ATTOM, said this may be the beginning of a new trend. 

"The extreme difference between foreclosure starts and foreclosure completions in April might be the beginning of a trend," said Sharga. "Record levels of homeowner equity should provide financially distressed homeowners the opportunity to sell their homes prior to a foreclosure auction, meaning we should continue to see fewer foreclosure completions. While it may take several months to determine if this is actually what's happening, it seems like a real possibility in today's low supply/high demand housing market." 

Looking at April 2022, the national foreclosure rate was 1-in-4,580 units. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Illinois (one in every 2,241 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 2,292 units); Ohio (one in every 2,585 units); Indiana (one in every 2,660 units); and Nevada (one in every 3,043 units). 

However, foreclosure starts remain essentially unchanged from last month. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 22,286 U.S. properties in April, just down slightly from 22,360 last month but up 251% from a year ago. The states with the highest foreclosure starts were: Massachusetts (up 133%); Colorado (up 95%); Minnesota (up 59%); Indiana (up 39%); and Washington (up 24%). 

Foreclosure completion numbers also decreased last month. Lenders repossessed 2,830 properties in April, a 36% deduction from last month, yet that number is still up 82% year-over-year. Those states that had the greatest number of REOs in April 2022, included: Illinois (417 REOs); Pennsylvania (266); Michigan (187); Ohio (150); and California (148).