U.S. foreclosure filings decreased 14 percent in November 2020 from the month before to a total of 10,042 properties with foreclosure filings (including default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions), according to a report released Thursday by Attom Data Solutions.

That figure was down 80 percent from the year before, and rolled in as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an extension of its foreclosure moratorium on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages through the end of January 2021.

Rick Sharga | RealtyTrac

“It’s not unusual to see foreclosure activity slow down beginning in November and through the holiday season,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “Both foreclosure starts and repossessions were down about 80 percent on a year-over-year basis, but it might be worth noting that a few cities that may be vulnerable to the pandemic-driven flight from urban areas to the suburbs — like New York City, Chicago, and Miami — were among the markets with the highest levels of foreclosure actions.”

By state and metro

States that posted the highest foreclosure rates included Florida (one in every 7,109 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Illinois (one in every 7,285), Oklahoma (one in every 8,128), New Mexico (one in every 9,236) and Delaware (one in every 9,310).

Out of the 220 analyzable metro areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates included Champaign, Illinois (one in every 3,636 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Shreveport, Louisiana (one in every 3,806); Macon, Georgia (one in every 3,947), Davenport, Iowa (one in every 4,038; and Evansville, Indiana (one in every 4,296).

Foreclosure starts also decline

Foreclosure starts also dropped during November from the previous month — starts were down 13 percent from October 2020 and down 79 percent from November 2019.

Still, Missouri (up 18 percent), Indiana (up 14 percent), Georgia (up 4 percent), Arizona (up 1 percent) and Texas (up 1 percent) all saw monthly increases in foreclosure starts.

Bank repossessions drop as well

Bank repossessions (REOs) decreased 22 percent between October and November, and also declined 86 percent year over year from November 2019 to November 2020. In total, lenders foreclosed on 2,010 U.S. properties during November.

States with the highest number of REOs filed in November were Florida (273), Illinois (167), California (164), Arizona (141) and Georgia (117).

At the metro level, analyzable metros with a population greater than 1 million that saw the largest number of REOs filed in November were Chicago (114), Phoenix (93), Atlanta (88), Birmingham, Alabama (60 REOs filed), and Miami (58).

Email Lillian Dickerson

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