July 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Activity Declines Slightly

ATTOM released its July 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 12,483 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — down 4 percent from a month ago but up 40 percent from a year ago. Numbers reflect the last month before the government moratorium is lifted.

“The end of the government’s moratorium won’t result in millions of foreclosures, but we’re likely to see a steady increase in default activity for the balance of the year,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “Much of the foreclosure volume will come from the reinstatement of foreclosure proceedings on properties that had already been in default prior to the pandemic, and new foreclosure activity on vacant and abandoned properties.”

Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rates

Nationwide one in every 11,009 housing units had a foreclosure filing in July 2021. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Nevada (one in every 3,626 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in every 4,206 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 4,809 housing units); Kansas (one in every 5,609 housing units); and Illinois (one in every 6,381 housing units).

Among the 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in July 2021 were Atlantic City, NJ (one in every 2,290 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Macon, GA (one in every 2,853 housing units); Las Vegas, NV (one in every 2,884 housing units); Cleveland, OH (one in every 3,658 housing units); and Champaign, IL (one in every 3,802 housing units).

Those metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, with the worst foreclosure rates in July 2021 including Las Vegas, NV and Cleveland, OH were: Indianapolis, IN (one in every 5,774 housing units); Miami, FL (one in every 6,166 housing units); and St. Louis, MO (one in every 6.348 housing units).

Foreclosure starts increase monthly in 23 states nationwide

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 6,572 U.S. properties in July 2021, down 4 percent from last month but up 45 percent from a year ago.

States that had at least 100 foreclosure starts in July 2021 and saw the greatest monthly decrease in foreclosure starts included: North Carolina (down 50 percent); California (down 31 percent); Arizona (down 27 percent); Georgia (down 17 percent); and Illinois (down 10 percent).

Those major metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million and that had at least 100 foreclosure starts in July 21 and saw increases from last year included: New York, NY (up 134 percent); Riverside, CA (up 55 percent); Chicago, IL (up 45 percent); Atlanta, GA (up 39 percent); and Houston, TX (up 23 percent).

Foreclosure completion numbers increase 5 percent from last month

Lenders repossessed 2,418 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in July 2021, up 5 percent from last month and up 12 percent from last year.

“Increased numbers of foreclosure starts may not result in a similar number of bank repossessions,” Sharga added. “Homeowner equity is at an all-time high, and many financially-distressed borrowers should have the opportunity to sell their homes – probably at a profit – rather than lose them to a foreclosure auction.””

Some states that had the greatest number of REOs in July 2021, included: Illinois (230 REOs); Florida (172 REOs); Pennsylvania (149 REOs); Maryland (141 REOs); and Texas (120 REOs).

Those major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population greater than 1 million that saw the greatest number of REOs in July 2021 included: Kansas City, MO (208 REOs); Chicago, IL (133 REOs); Baltimore, MD (92 REOs); New York, NY (91 REOs); and Philadelphia, PA (71 REOs).