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Foreclosures Tick Up After Moratorium Ends

The first bits of foreclosure data are starting to come through after the federal government’s foreclosure moratorium expired July 31 and the numbers are not as bad as some experts were predicting at the start of the moratorium. 

ATTOM, a real-estate data company, released its Q3 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which showed there were a total of 45,517 properties with foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions—up 34 percent from the previous quarter and 68 percent from a year ago. On a nationwide scale, foreclosures represented 1-in-7,008 properties. 

The report also showed that there were a total of 19,609 properties with active foreclosure filings against them in September, up 24% since August (which had 15,838 foreclosures) and up 102% year-over-year. 

Now that the moratorium is over, lenders have begun processing foreclosures for 25,209 properties in Q3, up 32% from the previous quarter. 

According to the report, the states with the greatest amount of foreclosure starts were California (3,434); Texas (2,827); Florida (2,546); New York (1,363); and Illinois (1,362). The metropolitan areas with the greatest number of foreclosure starts are New York, New York (1,456); Chicago, Illinois (1,122); Los Angeles, California (1,102); Miami, Florida (992); and Houston, Texas (866). 

“Despite the increased level of foreclosure activity in September, we’re still far below historically normal numbers,” said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at RealtyTrac, which is owned by ATTOM. “September foreclosure actions were almost 70 percent lower than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in September of 2019, and Q3 foreclosure activity was 60 percent lower than the same quarter that year. Even with similar increases in foreclosures over the next few months, we’ll end the year significantly below what we’d see in a normal housing market.” 

“So far the government and the mortgage industry have worked together to do an extraordinary job of preventing millions of unnecessary foreclosures using the foreclosure moratorium and mortgage forbearance program,” Sharga added. “But there are hundreds of thousands of borrowers scheduled to exit forbearance in the next two months, and it’s possible that we might see a higher percentage of those borrowers default on their loans.” 

A full copy of ATTOM’s report, including state-level data, can be found here. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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