Foreclosure Rates Rise After 2019’s Record-Breaking Low

By Kelly Leighton | Feb. 26, 2020 | 2 min. read

Foreclosure filings across the U.S. rose both month-to-month and year-to-year in January 2020.

ATTOM Data Solution’s Foreclosure Market Trend Reports for January 2020 found that foreclosure filings rose 13% from December 2019 and 7% from January 2019. In January 2020, 60,085 properties had foreclosure filings, or one in every 2,270 properties across the U.S. However, lenders starting the foreclosure process in January saw a decrease. Year-to-year, the starting of the foreclosure process dropped 9%, and month-to-month, there was a 1% decrease. Overall, 26,858 properties began the foreclosure process in January.

Still, foreclosure rates remain well beneath their peak, comparatively. In 2019, foreclosure activity dropped to a 15-year-low, with just 493,066 U.S. properties filing for foreclosure, representing 0.36% of all U.S. properties. This is a decrease of 21% from 2018 and 83% from the peak of more than 2.8 million in 2010, during the Great Recession.

In Pennsylvania, foreclosures in Philadelphia continue to be high. In 2019, Philadelphia had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S. at 0.75%, and in January, 2020, Philadelphia was one city that was highlighted for having a high foreclosure rate. One in every 1,072 housing properties in the area was a foreclosure last month. However, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has been working with homeowners via their Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this has prevented close to 14,000 foreclosures since the program began in 2008. The program assists homeowners by working with lenders to help lower mortgage payments.

Repossessions in the U.S. also saw a rise. In January, 20,759 properties were repossessed by lenders, an increase of 49% from December 2019, and up 70% from January 2019.

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