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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Grows Despite Government Moratorium

Apr 15, 2021
foreclosure sign

Today, ATTOM Data Solutions released its first-quarter U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for 2021, which shows that foreclosure filings were up 9% from the previous quarter but down 78% from a year prior. A total of 33,699 foreclosure filings within the first quarter includes default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.

The report also shows that in March of 2021 there were 11,880 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, making it the second consecutive month with month-over-month increases in U.S. foreclosure activity.

States with the highest foreclosure rate in the first quarter of 2021 were Delaware, Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio where every one of 2,500 housing units filed foreclosure. Lenders repossessed 7,320 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1 2021, up 14% from the previous quarter but down 87% from a year ago.

“The foreclosure moratorium on government-backed loans has virtually stopped foreclosure activity over the past year,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. He explains that the sudden increase can be explained by mortgage servicers, who have begun filing foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties. “Which benefits neighborhoods and communities,” Sharga added. “It's likely that these foreclosures are causing the slight uptick we've seen over the past few months."

Across America, one in every 4,078 housing units had a foreclosure filing in Q1 2021.

“The CARES Act mortgage forbearance program has extended foreclosure timelines for owner-occupied homes by a full year," Sharga noted. "Hopefully, this extra time will give financially-distressed homeowners the chance to get back on their feet, and work with their lenders to avoid a foreclosure when the government programs expire."

Click here to read more from the report.

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