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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Doubled In 2022: ATTOM

David Krechevsky
Jan 12, 2023

Overall filings remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • In 2022, foreclosure filings were up 115% from a year earlier.
  • Filings were down, however, 34% from 2019, before the pandemic shook up the market. 

Foreclosure activity in the U.S. doubled in 2022 from a year earlier, but remain well below pre-pandemic levels,  a new report found.

According its year-end 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, released Thursday by real estate data company ATTOM, foreclosure filings — which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 324,237 U.S. properties in 2022, up 115% from 2021 but down 34% from 2019, before the pandemic shook up the market. 

Foreclosure filings in 2022 also were down 89% from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010.

The 324,237 properties with foreclosure filings in 2022 represented 0.23% of all U.S. housing units, up slightly from 0.11% in 2021, but down from 0.36% in 2019 and from a peak of 2.23% in 2010.

"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, executive vice president 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 year-end report provides a count of properties with a foreclosure filing during the year based on publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings collected in more than 3,000 counties nationwide, accounting for more than 99% of the U.S. population. 

The report also includes new data for December 2022, showing there were 30,822 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, up less than 1% from the previous month but up 72% from a year ago.

According to the report, lenders repossessed 42,854 properties through foreclosures (REO) in 2022, up 67% from 2021 but down 70% from 2019 (143,955) and from 96% from a peak of 1.05 million in 2010.

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

The metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 1 million that saw the greatest number of REOs in 2022 included Chicago (3,545 REOs); Detroit (2,135); New York (1,656); St. Louis (1,395); and Philadelphia (1,302).

"Unlike foreclosure activity during the Great Recession, the majority of homes in foreclosure are not being repossessed by lenders," Sharga said. "Our recent homeowner equity report shows that 93% 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."

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 248,170 U.S. properties in 2022, up 169% from 2021 but down 26% from 2019 and from 88% from a peak of 2.14 million in 2009.

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

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

The metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 1 million that saw the greatest number of foreclosure starts in 2022, included New York (15,821 foreclosure starts); Chicago (14,360); Los Angeles  (8,185); Philadelphia  (7,286); and Miami (7,090).

States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2022 were Illinois (0.49% of housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (0.45%); Delaware (0.4%); Ohio (0.38%); and South Carolina (0.37%).

Other highlights:

  • U.S. properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter of 2022 had been in the foreclosure process an average of 852 days, a 4% decrease from the previous quarter and 9% decrease from a year ago.
  • States with the longest average time to foreclose in the fourth quarter of 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).
  • There was a total of 90,715 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the fourth quarter 2022, down 2% from the previous quarter but up 6% from a year ago.
  • Nationwide in the fourth quarter, one in every 1,549 properties had a foreclosure filing.
  • Nationwide in December 2022, one in every 4,558 properties had a foreclosure filing.
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