D-FW foreclosure filings head up
Home foreclosure filings in North Texas are slowly rising but remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
About 360 residential properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were threatened with forced sale by lenders in February, according to the latest estimates from Attom Data Solutions. This is an increase of over 200% over the previous year.
D-FW foreclosure filings last month were still only about half of what they were in February 2020 before the pandemic hit.
Nationwide default notices in February, scheduled auctions or bank foreclosures are up more than 100% year over year.
“February lockdown activity looks very similar to what we can expect for at least the next six months – double-digit month-on-month growth and triple-digit year-on-year increases. the other,” Rick Sharga of Atom Data Solutions said in the report. “This is not an indication of economic turbulence or weakness in the housing market; it is simply the gradual return to normal levels of foreclosure activity after two years of artificially low numbers due to government and industry efforts to protect financially affected homeowners from default.
Home foreclosure rates have been kept low in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic due to government moratoriums and lender forbearance.
Only about 2,000 foreclosure filings were made in D-FW in 2021, down more than 40% from 2020 and nearly 57% less than in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nationally, about 151,000 foreclosure filings were recorded in 2021, representing only about 0.1% of the housing market.
Attom Data Solutions said there were a total of 25,833 US properties with foreclosure filings last month.
And lenders repossessed 2,634 US homes in February, up 70% from the same month last year.
Texas recorded 1,488 foreclosures, behind California and Florida.
And Houston was the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area for foreclosure notices with 471 filings.
Sharga said mortgage companies are “catching up with processing loans that were foreclosed or very badly delinquent before the pandemic and the moratorium. We can expect more month-to-month volatility as that the justice services and systems resolve some of these backlogs.
With huge increases in home values over the past few years, most homeowners who are having trouble making their payments have enough equity to be able to sell their home and avoid foreclosure.
According to CoreLogic, only 3.8% of mortgages in the D-FW area were in arrears for 30 days or more in December, compared to 6.4% a year earlier. And only 1.9% of D-FW mortgages were 90 days or more past due at the end of 2020, CoreLogic found.