ATTOM, along with its subsidiary RealtyTrac, has released its latest Foreclosure Market Report for November which has found that there was a total of 19,479 properties with foreclosure filings against them, down 5% from October but up 94% from a year ago. This increase marks the seventh consecutive monthly increase year-over-year.
The news was not completely unexpected as the federal foreclosure moratorium has now been over for four months and forbearance plans come to an end.
“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. “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.”
According to the report, houses with foreclosure filings against them account for one in every 7,055 units. The highest foreclosure rates were seen in Illinois (one in every 3,187 housing units had filings against them); Florida (one in 3,319 units); Ohio (one in 3,669 units); Delaware (one in 3,800 units); and New Jersey (one in 4,096 units).
In terms of metropolitan areas, Cleveland, Ohio saw the highest rate of foreclosures with one in 1,746 units having filings against them. This is followed by Lakeland, Florida (one in every 2,345 units have filings against them); Ocala, Florida (one in 2,485 units); Savannah, Georgia (one in 2,618 units); and Miami, Florida (one in 2,626).
Foreclosure starts began on 10,471 properties in November, down 3% from October, but up 99% year-over-year.
“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 noted. “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.”
On the other hand, lenders repossessed 2,292 properties through completed foreclosures, down 24% from October. This marks the first monthly decrease since May.
Data for the report was gleaned from data entered into the ATTOM Data Warehouse over the course of the month which covers more than 3,000 counties nationwide or about 99% of the total papulation.