While it’s not the wave that forecasters expected back in 2020, life after a nationwide foreclosure moratorium has resulted in a seemingly dramatic uptick in U.S. activity, according to recent reports by ATTOM Data Solutions.
The organization released its Q1 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows 78,271 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first three months of 2022. The findings mark a 39% increase from the fourth quarter of 2021, but they also show an annual increase of 132%.
The report also indicates that there were 33,333 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2022—up 29% from February and 181% from a year ago. According to ATTOM, March marks the 11th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in U.S. foreclosure activity.
- 22,360 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in March 2022, up 35% from the previous month and 248% from March 2021.
- Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 4,406 U.S. properties in March 2022—up 67% from the previous month and up 180% from March 2021.
- 50,759 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in Q1 2022—up 188% YoY.
- California, Florida and Texas topped the list of states with the greatest number of foreclosure starts in the first quarter of this year.
- One in every 1,795 housing units nationwide had a foreclosure filing in Q1 2022.
- The highest foreclosure rates were in Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio.
- Bank repossessions increased 41% from last quarter and 160% YoY.
- Lenders repossessed 11,824 U.S. properties through foreclosure in Q1 2022.
- Michigan, Illinois, Florida, California and Pennsylvania had the greatest number of REOs.
- Average time to foreclose decreased by 3% from Q4 2021
When the moratorium finally ended last year, experts indicated that an increase in foreclosures would be an inevitable outcome after a year and a half without any.
What wasn’t clear at the time was the scope of the uptick. The picture is getting a bit clearer as ATTOM reports show that activity has increased since the end of the federal foreclosure freeze.
“Foreclosure activity has continued to gradually return to normal levels since the expiration of the government’s moratorium and the CFPB’s enhanced mortgage servicing guidelines,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for ATTOM. “But even with the large year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts and bank repossessions, foreclosure activity is still only running at about 57% of where it was in Q1 2020, the last quarter before the government enacted consumer protection programs due to the pandemic.”
“March foreclosure activity was at its highest level in exactly two years—since March 2020, when there were almost 47,000 foreclosure filings across the country,” Sharga added. “It’s likely that we’ll continue to see significant month-over-month and year-over-year growth through the second quarter of 2022 but still won’t reach historically normal levels of foreclosures until the end of the year at the earliest unless the U.S. economy takes a significant turn for the worse.”
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news to email@example.com.