Foreclosure activity increases in Q1, despite moratorium

Foreclosure action on two property types could have caused the uptick

Foreclosure activity increases in Q1, despite moratorium

Foreclosure activity increased over the first quarter of 2021, despite a nationwide pause on foreclosures for homes with government-backed mortgages.

Figures from ATTOM Data Solutions revealed that there was a total of 33,699 properties across the US with foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions) during the first quarter of 2021, up 9% from the previous quarter but down 78% from a year ago.

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The report also showed a total of 11,880 properties with foreclosure filings in March 2021, up 5% from the previous month but down 75% from March 2020 — the second consecutive month with month-over-month increases in US foreclosure activity.

Foreclosure activity picked up despite the Biden administration announcing an extension of a moratorium on foreclosures through June 30. However, Rick Sharga, executive vice president of analytics firm RealtyTrac, said foreclosure actions on two property types could have caused the increase.

“The foreclosure moratorium on government-backed loans has virtually stopped foreclosure activity over the past year,” said Sharga. “But mortgage servicers have been able to begin foreclosure actions on vacant and abandoned properties, which benefits neighborhoods and communities. It’s likely that these foreclosures are causing the slight uptick we’ve seen over the past few months.”

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