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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops To 15-year Low In 2019, According to ATTOM Data Solutions

Foreclosure filings— default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 493,066 U.S….

  • January 31, 2020

Foreclosure filings— default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 493,066 U.S. properties in 2019, down 21 percent from 2018 and down 83 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 to the lowest level since tracking began in 2005, according to a new report from property data provider ATTOM Data Solutions.

Those 493,066 properties with foreclosure filings in 2019 represented 0.36 percent of all U.S. housing units, down from 0.47 percent in 2018 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent in 2010.

Bank repossessions decrease 86 percent since their peak in 2010

Lenders repossessed 143,955 properties through foreclosure (REO) in 2019, down 37 percent from 2018 and down 86 percent from a peak of 1,050,500 in 2010 to the lowest level as far back as data is available — 2006.

While completed foreclosures (REOs) are on the decline, California and Florida combined have totaled nearly 1.5 million over the last 10 years. Other states leading the nation in REOs include Michigan (333,312), Texas (323,806), Illinois (312,057) and Georgia (304,964).

Metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 200,000 that saw a year-over-year increase in REOs included Honolulu, Hawaii (up 34 percent); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (up 28 percent); Florence, South Carolina (up 18 percent); Buffalo, New York (up 16 percent); and San Luis Obispo, California (up 9 percent).

Lenders repossessed 13,898 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in December 2019, down 1 percent from last month, but up 34 percent from December 2018.

Foreclosure starts at new record low nationwide, increase in 14 states

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 335,985 U.S. properties in 2019, down 9 percent from 2018 and down 84 percent from a peak of 2,139,005 in 2009 to a new all-time low going back as far as foreclosure start data is available — 2006.

States that saw the decline in foreclosure starts from last year included Nevada (down 30 percent); New York (down 28 percent); New Jersey (down 21 percent); California (down 13 percent); and Arizona (down 11 percent).

Counter to the national trend, 14 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in 2019, including Rhode Island (up 54 percent); Mississippi (up 39 percent); Georgia (up 24 percent); Arkansas (up 14 percent); and Louisiana (up 11 percent).

Those metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 1 million that saw a double-digit percent increase in foreclosure starts from last year included Baton Rouge, Louisiana (up 43 percent); Atlanta, Georgia (up 25 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah (up 17 percent); Orlando, Florida (up 16 percent); and Portland, Oregon (up 16 percent).

New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland post top state foreclosure rates in 2019

States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2019 were New Jersey (0.82 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (0.73 percent); Maryland (0.66 percent); Florida (0.63 percent); and Illinois (0.63 percent). New Jersey has held the top spot since 2015.

Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were Connecticut (0.53 percent); South Carolina (0.52 percent); Ohio (0.48 percent); Nevada (0.42 percent); and New York (0.41 percent).

Atlantic City, Trenton, Jacksonville post top metro foreclosure rates in 2019

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in 2019 were Atlantic City, New Jersey (1.33 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Trenton, New Jersey (0.91 percent); Jacksonville, Florida (0.85 percent); Rockford, Illinois (0.82 percent); and Lakeland, Florida (0.81 percent).

Metro areas with a population greater than 1 million that had the highest foreclosure rate, including Jacksonville, Florida were: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (0.75 percent); Cleveland, Ohio (0.73 percent); Chicago, Illinois (0.71 percent); and Baltimore, Maryland (0.68 percent).

Average time to foreclose increases annually

U.S. properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter of 2019 had been in the foreclosure process an average of 834 days, a 1 percent decline from the previous quarter, but an increase of 3 percent from a year ago.

2019 Year-End Avg Days to Complete Foreclosure

States with the longest average time to foreclose in Q4 2019 were Hawaii (1,712 days); Indiana (1,629 days); Arizona (1,434 days); Nevada (1,339 days); and Georgia (1,257 days).

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