Tri-Cities foreclosure filings decline, mortgage delinquencies up

New foreclosure filings continue declining in the Tri-Cities while mortgage delinquency rates are increasing. Government-imposed moratoriums have pumped the brakes on foreclosures, but according to experts, servicers have begun actions on vacant and abandoned properties. It’s likely these foreclosures are causing the slight uptick we’ve seen nationwide over the past few months, according to Rick Sharga, executive vice present of RealtyTrac and ATTOM Data Solutions company.

ATTOM’s Q1 Foreclosure Market Report shows a 9% U.S. increase from the previous quarter but down 78% from a year ago.

New Tri-Cities filings totaled 44, down from 43 during the previous quarter. During Q1 there were 150 new filings.

Tri-Cities foreclosure filings peaked at 1,277 in 2010. The 2020 total was 305, a 76% decline from the peak.

According to CoreData, 5.6% of the mortgaged properties in the Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Area (MSA) are in some stage of delinquency. In the Johnson City MSA, the share is 5%. Last year the Kingsport-Bristol rate was 4.5%. It was 4% in the Johnson City MSA.

The number of seriously delinquent mortgages is 3.5%, up from 1.3% last year in Kingsport-Bristol and 3%, up from 1.2% last year in the Johnson City MSA.

The Kingsport-Bristol MSA includes Hawkins and Sullivan counties in NE Tenn. and Scott and Washington counties in SW Va.

The Johnson City MSA included Carter, Washington, and Unicoi counties.

There are about 90,000 mortgaged properties in the Tri-Cities. While the number currently in forbearance is not available if you apply the national average, it comes out to fewer than 5,000.

Many of the forbearance properties will end up with extensions of the mortgage term, so it’s not expected to result in significant foreclosures or short sales.

“The government’s foreclosure moratorium and the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program have extended foreclosure timelines for owner-occupied homes by a full year,” Sharga noted. “Hopefully, this extra time will give financially-distressed homeowners the chance to get back on their feet and work with their lenders to avoid a foreclosure when the government programs expire.”

Kingsport-Bristol had the largest number of new foreclosure filings during Q1 – 34, up from 29 last year. Sullivan Co. – the region’s highest housing market – saw the largest number of new foreclosure filings – 18. Hawkins and Washington Co. VA had the next highest new filings.

The Johnson City MSA had 10 new filings down from 14 in the previous quarter. Washington Co. TN – the region’s second-largest market – had five new filings, and Carter Co. had four new filings.

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