U.S. foreclosure activity continued its climb back to pre-pandemic levels in May, which saw 30,881 properties with foreclosure filings, Attom Data Solutions reported.
According to the company’s May 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Report, one in every 4,549 housing units had a default notice, scheduled action or bank repossession. The total number of foreclosure filings nationwide was up 1% on a monthly basis but up 185% year over year.
Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom Data, posited that with the costs of living up across the nation, the rate of foreclosure growth may be poised for an uptick.
“While there’s some volatility in the monthly numbers, foreclosure activity overall is continuing its slow, steady climb back to normal after two years of government intervention led to historically low levels of defaults,” Sharga said. “But with inflation now at a 41-year high, and runaway prices on necessities like food and gasoline, we may see foreclosure activity ramp up a little faster than most forecasts suggest.”
Illinois (where one in every 2,000 housing units had a foreclosure filing), New Jersey (one in 2,346), Delaware (one in 2,426), Ohio (one in 2,667) and Florida (one in 2,788) posted the highest foreclosure rates among all states. Of the 223 metro areas with a population of at least 1 million, Cleveland (one in 1,389), Chicago (one in 1,777), Jacksonville (one in 1,985), Orlando (one in 2,295) and Miami (one in 2,432) had the worst foreclosure rates.
Meanwhile, lenders nationwide started the foreclosure process on 22,099 properties in May, down 1% monthly but up 274% annually. There were 2,857 properties repossessed through completed foreclosures during the month, up 1% monthly and up 117% from May 2021.
“It’s interesting that there were almost ten times more foreclosure starts than foreclosure completions,” Sharga added. “This suggests that financially distressed borrowers may be finding ways to avoid losing their home to a foreclosure sale.”