Foreclosure Activity Bottoms Out

Foreclosure Activity Bottoms Out

April 1, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/tntemerson
ATTOM Data Solutions has released its February 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, showing a total of 48,004 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions—the lowest number of total foreclosure filings recorded, since ATTOM tracked filings in April of 2005.
“Foreclosure activity across the United States hit new lows in February, yet another marker of the nation’s long housing boom,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “However, as with just about anything connected to the housing market right now, the foreclosure situation is now totally in flux because of the ever-evolving Coronavirus pandemic. Many lenders have suspended foreclosure proceedings, so the numbers will most likely continue to drop in the coming months. But after that, we may see an uptick in foreclosures as a result of dramatic economic impacts, such as more homeowners losing their jobs and falling behind on mortgage payments.”
Lenders repossessed 10,469 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in February 2020, up one percent from last month but down eight percent from last year–second consecutive annual decline in completed foreclosures.
States that saw an annual decrease in REOs in February 2020 included: Florida (down 47 percent); New Jersey (down 37 percent); New York (down 18 percent); Texas (down 16 percent); and Maryland (down 13 percent).
Those major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population greater than 200,000 that saw the greatest number of REOs included: Chicago (614 REOs); Riverside, Calif. (529 REOs); New York, N.Y. (446 REOs); Los Angeles (368 REOs); and Philadelphia (328 REOs).
Nationwide, one in every 2,841 housing units had a foreclosure filing in February 2020. States with the highest foreclosure rates were New Jersey (one in every 1,457 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Illinois (one in every 1,507 housing units); Delaware (one in every 1,628 housing units); South Carolina (one in every 1,688 housing units); and Maryland (one in every 1,713 housing units).
Lenders started the foreclosure process on 27,058 U.S. properties in February 2020, up three percent from last month, but down nine percent from a year ago—the 13th consecutive month showing an annual decline.