Foreclosure activity plummets while streak of declines ends

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Foreclosure activity fell 21% in July compared to a year ago and rose 6% from June after twelve consecutive months of declines, according to Attom Data Solutions.

A total of 51,056 housing units had a foreclosure filing in July — about one in every 2,652 properties nationwide. States with the highest concentrations of foreclosures included New Jersey, Delaware and Florida.

Of the 53 housing markets with populations of 1 million or more, Jacksonville, Fla., had the highest foreclosure rate with one in every 958 properties. Philadelphia followed with one in every 1,276 properties and Chicago and Orlando, Fla., tied for third most with one in every 1,307 units.

Bank repossessions dropped to 11,070 properties, down 42% year-over-year and up 4% from June.

Foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — have fallen precipitously since the housing crisis. After reaching a peak of 1,654,634 properties with filings in the first half of 2010, the opening half of 2019 had a total of 296,458.

“While caution should be used viewing one month of change, the relaxed lending guidelines could certainly be spurring the recent increase in foreclosure activity,” Jennifer von Pohlmann, director for content and public relations, said in a statement.

The trend of distressed mortgages on the decline showed a course reversal back in May. While July totaled 26,055 foreclosure starts — a drop of 14% from a year ago — it represented a 6% increase month-over-month. On the state level, foreclosure starts in Washington jumped 55%, Georgia's increased 44% and Arizona rose 28%.

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