Foreclosure filings are way down. There’s a reason

November numbers fell to 10K nationwide despite a scuffling economy


One of these is not like the others: Homeowners are still struggling to meet their monthly mortgage bills, the coronavirus is on the rise, the economy is scuffling and foreclosures filings are way down.

November foreclosures filings dropped to 10,042, a 14 percent dip from October and an 80 percent drop from the roughly 50,000 filings in November 2019, according to Attom Data Solutions’ latest figures released today.

But homeowners are not suddenly more financially secure.

Homeowners with federally-backed mortgages from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still cannot be evicted or foreclosed on, an action that has lasted from the early days of the pandemic. Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency again extended that moratorium through January, from the previous Dec. 31 expiration. It could be extended again. Additionally, many states and cities still have foreclosure and eviction bans of their own in place.

Experts say once those temporary measures end, a wave of foreclosures could crash down. In New York City they are already slowly ticking up.

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New York had the most foreclosure filings in November with 454, followed by St. Louis with 208, Chicago with 207 and Miami with 151, according to the report. Los Angeles had 147 foreclosure filings.

The overall foreclosure rate, which includes both foreclosure starts and completed actions, was highest in St. Louis, where that affected 1 in every 4,454 housing units. Cleveland was next, at 1 in every 5,368 housing units and Jacksonville, Florida, had the third highest, with 1 in every 5,877 housing units.

Bank repossessions are also down and for similar reasons, according to Attom.

Lenders foreclosed on a total of 2,010 U.S. properties in November. That was a 22 percent drop from October and 86 percent fall year-over-year.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in September that prevents residential evictions or foreclosures through January.