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Local foreclosure filings up, below historical levels

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Foreclosures in NE TN – SW VA were up during the third quarter but significantly below typical levels.

There was a total of 88 new filings that include default notices or bank repossessions – up 44% from Q3 last year, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Foreclosure Market Report. Nationwide new filings were up 67%. Headlines focusing on the big percentage increase are essentially clickbait to shock or scare readers.

“Despite the increased level of foreclosure activity in September, we’re still far below historically normal numbers,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “September foreclosure actions were almost 70 percent lower than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic in September of 2019, and Q3 foreclosure activity was 60 percent lower than the same quarter that year. Even with similar increases in foreclosures over the next few months, we’ll end the year significantly below what we’d see in a normal housing market.”

Q3 2021 new filings compared to same period in previous years.

Locally foreclosures were 45% lower than the pre-pandemic Q3 2019 level and 61% lower than in 2018.

The largest number of new filings were in the two largest markets – Kingsport and Johnson City.

New filings in the Johnson City metro area accounted for 1 in every 3,428 homes. Kingsport-Bristol ratio was 1 in 3,044 homes.

Expect to see more reports of increasing filings as more homeowners who were in forbearance exit the program. But since those distressed properties built equity during the pandemic, many will not reach the foreclosure stages. Lenders are and should continue working with owners to restructure mortgages.

Experts also expect those who go to the foreclosure filings stages to be trustee sales rather than bank repossessions. They also expect an increase in short sales.

Distressed sales peaked in the Tri-Cities’ two metro areas in 2016 when they accounted for 17.3% of total sales in the Johnson City metro area of 17% of Kingsport-Bristol sales.

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