August's foreclosure start rise is slightly above the norm: Attom

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Foreclosure starts increased 9% in August compared with July, slightly higher than the historic norm between the two months, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Last August, foreclosure starts were up 14% when compared with July 2017; the historic norm was 6% over the previous 10 years, Attom said at that time.

Compared with August 2017, foreclosure starts were down by 6%, after a one-month blip in July where starts increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in three years.

Still, 21 states and over 44% of U.S. cities reported a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in August, similar to July's report. July's increase in foreclosure starts was attributed to looser underwriting standards by Daren Blomquist, Attom's senior vice president, who at that time also warned about future increases in foreclosure starts in markets that could be susceptible to a natural disaster.

There were 70,166 properties with a foreclosure filing in August, a rate of one in every 1,910 housing units. Lenders started the process on 32,775 properties in August.

Foreclosure starts in Michigan were up 75% from the previous year, while they were up 41% in North Carolina and 39% in Maryland.

The states with the highest foreclosure rates in August were New Jersey (one in every 690 housing units), Maryland (one in every 918 housing units), Nevada (one in every 984 housing units), Delaware (one in every 1,012 housing units) and Florida (one in every 1,229 housing units).

In metro areas with at least 200,000 people, Atlantic City, N.J., had the highest rate at one in every 354 housing units, followed by Fayetteville, N.C. (one in every 444 housing units), Trenton, N.J. (one in every 546 housing units), Columbia, S.C. (one in every 807 housing units), and Bakersfield, Calif. (one in every 864 housing units).

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Foreclosures Mortgage defaults Distressed Natural disasters Attom Data Solutions