Lenders started the foreclosure process on 8,348 U.S. properties in August 2021 as filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — rose 27% from a month ago. That’s a 49% increase from a year ago, according to the August 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from ATTOM.

“As expected, foreclosure activity increased as the government’s foreclosure moratorium expired, but this doesn’t mean we should expect to see a flood of distressed properties coming to market,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “We’ll continue to see foreclosure activity increase over the next three months as loans that were in default prior to the moratorium re-enter the foreclosure pipeline, and states begin to catch up on months of foreclosure filings that simply haven’t been processed during the pandemic.”

But Sharga added that it’s likely that foreclosures will remain below normal levels, at least through the end of the year.

“While foreclosure starts increased significantly compared to last month and last year, it’s very important to keep these numbers in context,” he said. “Both last year’s and last month’s foreclosure starts were artificially low due to the government’s moratorium. But in August of 2019, the last year we had ‘normal’ foreclosure activity, there were almost 28,000 foreclosure starts – over three times more than this year.”

States with the greatest number of foreclosure starts in August 2021 included: 

  • California (1,240 foreclosure starts)
  • Texas (1,060 foreclosure starts)
  • Florida (643 foreclosure starts)
  • Illinois (506 foreclosure starts)
  • New York (479 foreclosure starts).

Lenders repossessed 2,474 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in August 2021, up 2% from last month and up 22% from last year.

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