Lenders resuming Tri-Cities area foreclosures

Most pandemic-initiated moratoriums are history, and lenders are beginning to resume foreclosures. Still, foreclosure activity in the Tri-Cities region remains well below historical levels. That’s the situation with the current mortgage delinquency rates.

The number of area properties with foreclosure filings during the first quarter was double what they were last year, according to Attom Data Solutions. At the same time, they were half the pre-pandemic level.

Nationwide foreclosure filings were up 39% from the previous quarter. Locally, they were up 29.9%.

“Foreclosure activity has continued to gradually return to normal levels since the expiration of the government’s moratorium and the CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s] enhanced mortgage servicing guidelines,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for Attom. “But even with the large year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts and bank repossessions, foreclosure activity is still only running at about 57% of where it was in Q1 2020, the last quarter before the government enacted consumer protection programs due to the pandemic.”

Nationwide, Sharga says it’s likely that foreclosure activity will continue to see significant month-over-month and year-over-year gains through the second quarter of 2022. “But [we] still won’t reach historically normal levels of foreclosures until the end of the year at the earliest, unless the U.S. economy takes a significant turn for the worse,” he notes.

Sullivan Co. led area counties with the number of Q1 foreclosures. The total was better than double the foreclosure total in Washington Co. – the region’s second largest housing market.

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