Amid federal and state restrictions on foreclosures and evictions, bank repossessions dropped 14 percent month over month and 80 percent year over year.

A total of 8,892 U.S. properties were hit with foreclosure filings in July, a decline of 4 percent from the previous month and 83 percent from the previous year, according to Attom Data Solutions and the data company’s foreclosure listings portal, RealtyTrac.

“Foreclosure filings” include default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions. To compile the report, Attom collected data from over 2,200 U.S. counties, which account for more than 90 percent of the nation’s population.

Rick Sharga | Photo credit: Attom Data Solutions

Meanwhile, amid federal and state restrictions on foreclosures and evictions, bank repossessions dropped 14 percent month over month and 80 percent year over year to 2,163 U.S. properties foreclosed on by lenders, the lowest level this number has reached since Attom started tracking the data in 2005.

“Even after default activity starts to increase, we may not see a similar increase in the number of repossessions,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “The combination of record levels of homeowner equity, extremely limited supply of homes for sale, and strong homebuyer demand should give many distressed homeowners an opportunity to sell their property rather than lose it to foreclosure.”

Courtesy of Attom Data Solutions

The three states with the highest foreclosure rates were all located on the East Coast and included Delaware (one in every 6,489 housing units with a foreclosure filing), South Carolina (one in every 7,328 housing units) and Maine (one in every 7,542 housing units). New Mexico (one in every 8,255 housing units) and California (one in every 9,194 housing units) rounded out the top five states with the highest foreclosure filing rates.

Out of those metro areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates included Trenton, New Jersey (one in every 3,445 housing units with a foreclosure filing); McAllen, Texas (one in every 3,833 housing units); Davenport, Iowa (one in every 4,038 housing units); Dayton, Ohio (one in every 4,055 housing units); and Albuquerque, New Mexico (one in every 4,452 housing units).

The greatest foreclosures rates in metro areas with a population of more than 1 million were in Louisville, Kentucky (one in every 5,383 housing units); Riverside, California (one in every 7,345 housing units); Baltimore, Maryland (one in every 8,139 housing units); Cincinnati, Ohio (one in every 8,289 housing units); and St. Louis, Missouri (one in every 8,514 housing units).

Despite the national decrease in foreclosure starts, a few states like Connecticut (up 54 percent), Michigan (up 42 percent), Missouri (up 34 percent), Virginia (up 32 percent) and California (up 1 percent) saw an increase in foreclosure starts during July.

In metro areas with a population of greater than 1 million, the highest number of foreclosure starts were in Los Angeles (285 foreclosure starts); New York City (190 foreclosure starts); Chicago (182 foreclosure starts); Houston (174 foreclosure starts); and Atlanta (125 foreclosure starts).

“Even as mortgage delinquency rates climb, foreclosure activity continues to be artificially low due to moratoria put in place by the federal and state governments,” Sharga said. “It’s inevitable that there will be a significant increase in foreclosures once these moratoria have expired, although it’s unlikely that we’ll see default rates reach the levels we saw during the Great Recession.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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