Foreclosure Starts Didn’t Move Much in January

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Foreclosure starts were basically flat in January, falling less than 1% compared with December, according to ATTOM Data Solutions

Lenders started the foreclosure process for the first time on 26,858 properties, down 9% compared with January 2019.

Nineteen states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, including California (up 27%); Tennessee (up 21%); Georgia (up 14%); Illinois (up 9%); and Ohio (up 3%).

Seventy-five of 220 metro areas posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, including San Antonio, Texas (up 66%); Los Angeles, California (up 63%); Riverside, California (up 22%); Nashville, Tennessee (up 19%); and Chicago, Illinois (up 14%).

Although foreclosure starts were down nationally, bank repossessions saw a sharp uptick, in keeping with seasonal patterns.

Lenders repossessed 20,759 U.S. properties in January, an increase of 49% compared with the previous month and up 70% from a year ago.

Metropolitan areas with a population greater than 200,000 that saw a month-over-month decrease in repossessions included Cleveland, Ohio (down 40%); San Antonio, Texas (down 28%); Las Vegas, Nevada (down 27%); Dallas, Texas (down 26%); and Atlanta, Georgia (down 24%).

Total foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – numbered 60,085 in January, up 13% compared with December and up 7% from a year ago.

Nationally, one in every 2,270 U.S. properties received a foreclosure filing during the month of January.

States with the worst foreclosure rates in January were New Jersey (one in every 1,046 housing units); Delaware (one in every 1,098 housing units); Illinois (one in every 1,139 housing units); Maryland (one in every 1,507 housing units); and Ohio (one in every 1,517 housing units).

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