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December Foreclosure Filings Double Year-Over-Year

According to ATTOM Data’s year-end 2022 Foreclosure Market Report, lenders reported that foreclosure filing rate (consisting of default notices, scheduled auctions, and repossessions) were up 115% from 2021, representing 324,237 properties, but down 34% from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world over. 

Compared to 2009, foreclosure filings were reported to be down 89% from a peak of 2.9 million. 

The 325,000 some-odd filings represented one-in-0.23% of all housing units, up 11% from 2021 but down from 0.36% in 2019. 

“Eighteen months after the end of the government’s foreclosure moratorium, and with less than 5% of the 8.4 million borrowers who entered the CARES Act forbearance program remaining, foreclosure activity remains significantly lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM. “It seems clear that government and mortgage industry efforts during the pandemic, coupled with a strong economy, have helped prevent millions of unnecessary foreclosures.” 

ATTOM’s dataset includes filings from more than 3,000 counties covering 99% of the population. 

In December alone, foreclosures increased at a rate of less than 1% from November 2022, but up 72% year-over-year. 

On the topic of repossessions through foreclosures (REOs), lenders repossessed 42,854 properties, up 67% from 2021, but down 70% from 2019 when 143,955 

States that saw the greatest number of REOs in 2022 included Illinois (5,518 REOs); Michigan (3,669 REOs); Pennsylvania (2,741 REOs); New York (2,405 REOs); and California (2,223 REOs). 

“Unlike foreclosure activity during the Great Recession, the majority of homes in foreclosure are not being repossessed by lenders,” Sharga noted. “Our recent homeowner equity report shows that 93 percent of borrowers in foreclosure today have positive equity, which they appear to be leveraging in order to avoid a foreclosure by refinancing their mortgage or selling the property at a profit. It seems likely that this is a trend that will continue in 2023.” 

Looking at foreclosure starts, lenders filed papers on 248,107 properties in 2022, up 169% from 2021 but down from 26% from 2019, and down 88% from a peak of 2.14 million filings. 

States that saw the greatest number of foreclosure starts in 2022 included California (27,269 foreclosure starts); Texas (23,151 foreclosure starts); Florida (22,968 foreclosure starts); Illinois (16,941 foreclosure starts); and Ohio (13,469 foreclosure starts); 

Counter to the national trend, 5 states saw an increase in foreclosure starts from 2019. They included Indiana (up 81%); Michigan (up 10%); Idaho (up 8%); Colorado (up 2%); and Minnesota (up less than 1%). 

The time to complete a foreclosure ended the year at an average of 852 days, a 4% decrease from the previous quarter and 9% from a year ago. 

States with the longest average time to foreclose in Q4 2022 were Hawaii (2,546 days); New Jersey (2,041 days); Louisiana (1,925 days); New York (1,828 days); and Pennsylvania (1,692 days). 

Other high level takeaways from the report include: 

Q4 2022 Foreclosure Activity High-Level Takeaways: 

  • There was a total of 90,715 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in Q4 2022, down 2% from the previous quarter but up 61% from a year ago. 
  • Nationwide in Q4 2022, one in every 1,549 properties had a foreclosure filing. 
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in Q4 2022 were Illinois (one in every 724 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in every 848 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 860 housing units); South Carolina (one in every 950 housing units); and Ohio (one in every 1,035 housing units). 
  • Nationwide in December 2022, one in every 4,558 properties had a foreclosure filing. 
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in December 2022 were South Carolina (one in every 2,301 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 2,378 housing units); Illinois (one in every 2,399 housing units); Delaware (one in every 2,535 housing units); and Ohio (one in every 3,027 housing units). 
  • 21,023 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in December 2022, up 2% from the previous month and up 129% from a year ago. 
  • Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 3,663 U.S. properties in December 2022, down 3% from the previous month but up 21% from a year ago. 

Click here to view the report in its entirety. 

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 [email protected].

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