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Foreclosure Update: The “Slow, Steady Climb Back to Normal”

ATTOM has released the 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for May, showing there were a total of 30,881 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings —default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions— up 1% from a month ago, but up 185% from a year ago.

Nationwide one in every 4,549 housing units had a foreclosure filing in May 2022. States with the highest foreclosure rates were:

  • Illinois (one in every 2,000 housing units with a foreclosure filing)
  • New Jersey (one in every 2,346 housing units)
  • Delaware (one in every 2,426 housing units)
  • Ohio (one in every 2,667 housing units)
  • Florida (one in every 2,788 housing units)

"While there's some volatility in the monthly numbers, foreclosure activity overall is continuing its slow, steady climb back to normal after two years of government intervention led to historically low levels of defaults," said Rick Sharga, Executive VP of market intelligence at ATTOM. "But with inflation now at a 41-year high, and runaway prices on necessities like food and gasoline, we may see foreclosure activity ramp up a little faster than most forecasts suggest."

Among the 223 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in May 2022 were:

  • Jacksonville, North Carolina (one in every 1,052 housing units with a foreclosure filing)
  • Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 1,389 housing units)
  • Chicago, Illinois (one in every 1,777 housing units)
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina (one in every 1,823 housing units)
  • Rockford, Illinois (one in every 1,861 housing units)

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, with the worst foreclosure rates in May 2022 including Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL were:

  • Jacksonville, FL (one in every 1,985 housing units)
  • Orlando, FL (one in every 2,295 housing units)
  • Miami, FL (one in every 2,432 housing units)

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 22,099 U.S. properties in May 2022, down 1% from last month, but up 274% from a year ago.

States that had the greatest number of foreclosure starts in May 2022 included:

  • Florida (2,483 foreclosure starts)
  • California (2,238 foreclosure starts)
  • Texas (2,019 foreclosure starts)
  • Illinois (1,757 foreclosure starts)
  • Ohio (1,285 foreclosure starts)

Those major metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million and that had at least 100 foreclosure starts in May 2022 and saw increases from last month included:

  • Miami, Florida (+81%)
  • Washington, D.C. (+60%)
  • Birmingham, Alabama (+56%)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio (+54)
  • Jacksonville, Florida (+54)

"It's interesting that there were almost ten times more foreclosure starts than foreclosure completions," said Sharga. "This suggests that financially-distressed borrowers may be finding ways to avoid losing their home to a foreclosure sale."

Data also found that lenders repossessed 2,857 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in May 2022, up 1% from last month and up 117 percent from last year.

States that had the greatest number of REOs in May 2022, included:

  • Illinois (350 REOs)
  • Michigan (249 REOs)
  • Pennsylvania (226 REOs)
  • New Jersey (175 REOs)
  • Ohio (146 REOs)

Those major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population greater than 1 million that saw the greatest number of REOs in May 2022 included:

  • Chicago, IL (289 REOs)
  • New York, NY (133 REOs)
  • Detroit, MI (124 REOs)
  • Philadelphia, PA (98 REOs)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (79 REOs)

To read the full report, including more charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport, with more than six years of writing experience. She has served as Editor-in-Chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington. She has covered events such as the Byron Nelson, Pac-12 Conferences, the Women in Dallas Film Festival, to freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, she is an avid jazz lover and reader. She can be reached at [email protected]
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