Local foreclosures filings returned to recession levels during 2016

Although foreclosure activity dropped to a 10-year low on the national level, properties with filings in the Tri-Cities region were back to recession levels in 2016.


CLICKING ON CHART RENDERS A LARGER VERSION. NE TN foreclosure filings by year. Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions.

ATTOM Data Solution’s year-end 2016 Foreclosure Market Report shows filings were down 14% from 2015. The situation here was similar. Filings were down 11.8% from 2015, but 2015 filings spiked above pre-recession filings after three years of decline. The level of 2016 filings was on par with 2010, 2011 and 2012 levels.

“The national foreclosure rate stayed within a historically normal range for the third consecutive year in 2016, even as banks continued to clear out legacy foreclosures from the last housing bubble, particularly in the final quarter of the year,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac. “Foreclosures completed in the fourth quarter had been in the foreclosure process 803 days on average, a substantial jump from the third quarter and indicating that banks pushed through significant numbers of legacy foreclosures during the quarter. Despite that push, we still show that more than half of all active foreclosures nationwide are on loans originated between 2004 and 2008, with a much higher share of legacy foreclosures in some markets.”

The Tri-Cities isn’t alone in its foreclosure position. According to ATTOM’s report foreclosure activity has increased in 12 states and 25% of metro areas.  Many of those are legacy foreclosures originated as far back as 2008.

During 2016 there were 1,243 Northeast Tennessee and 219 SW Virginia properties with a foreclosure filing.

Sullivan and Washington counties in NE Tenn. saw the bulk of the filings since they are the largest markets. In SW Virginia Scott and Lee counties had the dubious distinction have having the highest number of 2016 filings.

Foreclosure sales were not as big a factor during 2016 because until the latter part of the year the bulk were sold at auction on through other sales outlets instead of going to MLS listings. That changed during the last quarter when repossessions (REOs) assumed a leading role.

The volume of foreclosures was also likely a factor in muting the sales price of other property during a period of much tighter inventory of resales on the market.

The December activity report shows repossessions in NE TN was slightly below the December 2015 level as were total filings. SW VA saw the same pattern.

According to ATTOM’s report, there were 95 NE TN foreclosure filing in December and Sullivan County accounted for 43 of them, SW VA saw 26 December filings. Bristol VA and Washington County had the lion’s share.

The ATTOM Data Solutions Year-End U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the ATTOM Data Warehouse during the year. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the year may have been recorded in the previous year.




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  1. Sullivan Co. leads region in home sales, new foreclosures; looser lending standards cited in foreclosure flare-up – Core Data