TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From January to June, Florida had the sixth most foreclosures in the country. Areas that had high rankings in the state for the first half of 2022 included Lakeland, where more than a quarter of homes were foreclosed on, according to a new report.
Compared to 2021, ATTOM realty said the foreclosure starts across all of the U.S., or the beginning of the foreclosure process, had gone up 219%. Repossessions by banks also increased, up 30% from 2021 and 113% compared to 2020 for January to June.
“Foreclosure activity across the United States continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM, said. “While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023.”
Florida had 1,041 repossessions, according to the ATTOM report. For overall foreclosure starts, Florida had 11,448. California, by comparison, had 12,805 foreclosure starts, but 1,043 repossessions. ATTOM reported 79% of major markets had foreclosure activity below the levels recorded in the 2008 recession.
“The national foreclosure activity total in Q2 2022 was 68 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 per quarter from Q1 2006 to Q3 2007, making Q2 2022 the 23rd consecutive quarter with foreclosure activity below the pre-recession average,” ATTOM said.
In Lakeland, 27% of homes had foreclosure start filings in the past six months. ATTOM said it put Lakeland in the rankings for top 10 highest foreclosure rates in the country for the first half of 2022.
The report said in June 2022, one of every 4,431 properties had a foreclosure filing, and 22,239 total properties had started to foreclose in June.
From January to June, Florida had a reported 17,624 total foreclosures, a 124.4% change from January to June of 2021. ATTOM reported one of every 560 housing units in the state had been foreclosed on in the previous six months.
However, the overall foreclosure process isn’t as cut and dry. Not all of the foreclosures that started were for mortgages provided in the same time period.
“It’s important to note that many of the foreclosure starts we’re seeing today – in fact, much of the overall foreclosure activity we’re seeing right now – is on loans that were either already in foreclosure or were more than 120 days delinquent prior to the pandemic,” Sharga said. “Many of these loans were protected by the government’s foreclosure moratorium, or they would have already been foreclosed on two years ago. There’s very little delinquency or default activity that’s truly new in the numbers we’re tracking.”