Foreclosure Starts Increase 27 Percent From Last Month

ATTOM released its August 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 15,838 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 27 percent from a month ago and up 60 percent from a year ago. Numbers reflect the first month since the government moratorium has lifted.

“As expected, foreclosure activity increased as the government’s foreclosure moratorium expired, but this doesn’t mean we should expect to see a flood of distressed properties coming to market,” said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “We’ll continue to see foreclosure activity increase over the next three months as loans that were in default prior to the moratorium re-enter the foreclosure pipeline, and states begin to catch up on months of foreclosure filings that simply haven’t been processed during the pandemic. But it’s likely that foreclosures will remain below normal levels at least through the end of the year.”

Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rates

Nationwide one in every 8,677 housing units had a foreclosure filing in August 2021. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Illinois (one in every 3,848 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Nevada (one in every 4,738 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 4,868 housing units); Delaware (one in every 5,348 housing units); and Ohio (one in every 5,517 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in August 2021 were Bakersfield, CA (one in every 1,796 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Atlantic City, NJ (one in every 1,886 housing units); Cleveland, OH (one in every 2,259 housing units); Rockford, IL (one in every 3,037 housing units); and Las Vegas, NV (one in every 3,718 housing units).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million with the worst foreclosure rates in August 2021 included Cleveland, OH and Las Vegas, NV were: Chicago, IL (one in every 3,754 housing units); Riverside, CA (one in every 4,098 housing units); and Birmingham, AL (one in every 4,649 housing units).

Foreclosure starts increase 27 percent from last month

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 8,348 U.S. properties in August 2021, up 27 percent from last month and up 49 percent from a year ago.

“While foreclosure starts increased significantly compared to last month and last year, it’s very important to keep these numbers in context,” Sharga noted. “Both last year’s and last month’s foreclosure starts were artificially low due to the government’s moratorium. But in August of 2019, the last year we had ‘normal’ foreclosure activity, there were almost 28,000 foreclosure starts – over three times more than this year.”

States that had the greatest number of foreclosure starts in August 2021 were California (1,240 foreclosure starts); Texas (1,060 foreclosure starts); Florida (643 foreclosure starts); Illinois (506 foreclosure starts); and New York (479 foreclosure starts).

Those major metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million with the greatest number of foreclosure starts in August 2021 included New York, NY (486 foreclosure starts); Chicago, IL (439 foreclosure starts); Los Angeles, CA (401 foreclosure starts); Houston, TX (322 foreclosure starts); and Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (248 foreclosure starts).

Foreclosure completion numbers increase across the board

Lenders repossessed 2,474 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in August 2021, up 2 percent from last month and up 22 percent from last year.

States that had at least 100 REOs in August 2021 and saw the greatest monthly increase included: New York (up 136 percent); Michigan (up 62 percent); Illinois (up 24 percent); Florida (up 19 percent); and Texas (up 13 percent).

Those major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population greater than 1 million that saw the greatest number of REOs in August 2021 included Chicago, IL (177 REOs); New York, NY (84 REOs); Detroit, MI (78 REOs); Baltimore, MD (58 REOs); and Tampa, FL (43 REOs).