ATTOM: Foreclosure activity rises in October as filings surge before Christmas

by Candyd Mendoza15 Nov 2019

October saw an upturn in foreclosure activity across the United States as lenders crammed to push filings through the pipeline before the holiday season, according to the results of ATTOM Data Solutions’ US Foreclosure Market Report.

The report showed that the number of properties with foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions), rose 13% month over month to a total of 55,197 properties. Foreclosure filings were still down 17% from last year, however.

"While foreclosure activity across the United States rose in October, in looking at historical trends, October numbers tend to increase as lenders may be pushing filings through the pipeline before the holiday season," said ATTOM Chief Product Officer Todd Teta. "The latest number is still below where it was a year ago and less than 15% of what it was during the depths of the Great Recession."

One in every 2,453 housing units nationwide had a foreclosure filing in October. New Jersey posted the highest foreclosure rate of one in every 1,316 housing units. Illinois (one in every 1,336), Maryland (one in every 1,484), South Carolina (one in every 1,534), and Florida (one in every 1,571) followed.

October’s total number of properties repossessed hit a peak so far this year. Lenders completed foreclosures (REOs) on 13,484 properties, up 14% from September.

The states that saw the greatest number in REOs were Florida (1,493 REOs), Texas (912 REOs), Michigan (890 REOs), California (824 REOs), and Illinois (805 REOs).

Thirty-six states reported monthly gains in foreclosure starts. The number of foreclosure processes lenders started in October increased 17% month over month to 28,667 US properties but dipped 1% from a year ago.

Arizona and Ohio led the list of states that experienced a double-digit increase from last month, up 52% each. Florida (48%), New Jersey (47%), and California (36%) rounded out the top five.

 Meanwhile, 13 states including Maryland (-42%), Idaho (-36%), Delaware (-32%), Nebraska (-26%), and Utah (-25%) saw month-over-month drops in foreclosure starts.