Key Highlights

  • Despite moratorium, foreclosure activity increased +9% in Q1 2021
  • Foreclosure starts increased +3% from Q4 2020

Foreclosure Activity Increasing Despite CDC Moratorium

Realty Trac’s Q21 2021 US Foreclosure Market Report indicates that foreclosure filings increased +9% in Q1 2021 from Q4 2020.  (Foreclosure filings include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.)

In March 2021, there was an increase of +5% over the previous month, the second consecutive month of increased foreclosure activity.

All that said, both quarterly and monthly increases were up, though properties with foreclosure activity were down -78% and -75% respectively from one year ago.

According to Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Realty Trac, a subsidiary of ATTOM Data Solutions, “The foreclosure moratorium on government-back loans has virtually stopped foreclosure activity over the past year. But mortgage services have been able to begin foreclosure actions on vacant and abandoned properties…It’s likely that these foreclosures are causing the slight uptick we’ve seen over the past few months.”

States & Metros with Highest Foreclosures Rates

One in 4,078 housing units had a foreclosure filing in Q1 2021 nationwide.

States with the highest foreclosure rates in Q1 2021 included:

  • Delaware – 1 in every 1,705
  • Illinois – 1 in every 2,175
  • Florida – 1 in every 2,237
  • Indiana – 1 in every 2,397
  • Ohio – 1 in every 2,500

Metros with the highest foreclosure rates in Q1 2021 included:

  • Lake Havasu City AZ
  • Provo UT
  • McAllen TX
  • Shreveport LA
  • Atlantic City NJ
  • Cleveland OH
  • Birmingham AL
  • Jacksonville FL
  • Miami FL
  • Riverside CA

Average Foreclosure Timeline Increased +8% in Q1 2021

Foreclosed properties in Q1 2021 have been in the foreclosure process for an average of 930 days, a +8% increase from the average 857 days in Q4 2020 and +38% from an average of 673 days in Q1 2020.

Sharga said, “The government’s foreclosure moratorium and the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program have extended foreclosure timelines for owner-occupied homes by a full year.  Hopefully, this extra time will give financially-distressed homeowners the chance to get back on their feet, and work with their lenders to avoid a foreclosure when the government programs expire.”

States with the shortest average foreclosure times in Q1 2021 included West Virginia, Montana, Nebraska, Mississippi and Missouri.


Thanks to RealtyTrac and ATTOM Data Solutions.


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