US Foreclosure Data: Trends and Takeaways

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ByNathan Paulus
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: September 13, 2023

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In the first half of 2023, the United States witnessed 185,580 foreclosure filings, up from 164,581 in the first half of 2022, according to property data aggregator ATTOM. Starting from 2008 data, filings peaked in 2010 and then progressively declined, with a significant drop in 2020 and 2021 before a steady uptick. Economic downturns, unemployment spikes and individual homeowner challenges, such as adjustable-rate mortgages and unforeseen medical emergencies, primarily drive these fluctuations. Understanding what drives foreclosures and tracking statistics offers insights into housing market health and contemporary economic conditions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS ON US FORECLOSURE STATISTICS
  • In 2022, there were 164,581 foreclosure filings. This number increased to 185,580 in the first half of 2023, showcasing a continued upward trend.
  • Foreclosure frequency varies by state, with Illinois and New Jersey experiencing the highest density at one filing for every 397 and 411 housing units, respectively, whereas South Dakota saw the lowest with one in 8,827.
  • California and Florida saw the most foreclosure filings by state, with 17,914 and 18,530, respectively.
  • South Dakota and Vermont reported minimal foreclosures with just 44 and 71 filings, illustrating states with the most stable housing situations.
  • Foreclosures arise from a combination of macroeconomic shifts — like economic downturns and unemployment — and personal homeowner challenges — including adjustable-rate mortgages and unexpected medical expenses.

Source: Foreclosure Activity in First Half of 2023

US Foreclosure Statistics

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Foreclosure filings surged between 2008 and 2010, reflecting the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, driven by subprime mortgage collapses and widespread economic downturn. Filings began a consistent decline from 2011 through 2019 due to regulatory changes, improved lending practices and gradual economic recovery.

We observed a sharp decline from 2020 to 2021, likely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact, coupled with government intervention measures like foreclosure moratoriums and financial assistance. As those relief measures waned, 2022 saw an uptick and by 2023, although still lower than pre-pandemic numbers, filings rose higher as some homeowners continued to face financial challenges.

Foreclosure Statistics by State

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Source: ATTOM

Top 10 States With the Highest Foreclosure Filings

Florida (18,530), California (17,914) and Texas (13,869) lead the nation in foreclosure filings, followed closely by Illinois (13,619) and New York (12,193). Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania also report high numbers, each exceeding 5,000 filings. These states face significant housing market challenges likely due to their large populations and diverse economic landscapes.

Top 10 States With the Lowest Foreclosure Filings

South Dakota (44), Vermont (71), North Dakota (103), Montana (203) and Wyoming (239) report the lowest number of foreclosure filings in the nation. Other states with notably low numbers include Alaska (312), Rhode Island (361), Idaho (460) and Hawaii (517). Washington, D.C., joins these low-filing states (496). Whether due to smaller populations, specific economic conditions or stringent mortgage regulations, these states managed to maintain a lower number of foreclosure incidents.

States With High and Low Foreclosure Density

Illinois leads in foreclosure density with one foreclosure in every 397 housing units. New Jersey (411), Maryland (430), Delaware (443) and Ohio (496) trail closely behind, indicating more frequent foreclosures relative to their housing stock. Conversely, South Dakota's one foreclosure for every 8,827 housing units and Vermont's 4,697 positions them as the states with the least foreclosure density. North Dakota (3,593), Montana (2,525) and Kansas (2,110) also showcase a lower density, suggesting differing housing market dynamics or increased stability in these regions.

Key Drivers of Foreclosure

Understanding the factors that lead to foreclosure is crucial. From broad economic shifts to personal homeowner challenges, various triggers can push properties into foreclosure.

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Although each of these drivers plays a significant role in foreclosures, homeowners often face a combination of these factors. These highlighted reasons represent just the major contributors among many possible circumstances leading to foreclosure.

FIND THE RIGHT PAYMENT FOR YOU

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Frequently Asked Questions About Foreclosure Statistics

Explore frequently asked questions about U.S. foreclosure statistics to clarify common concerns and deepen your insight into this topic.

In 2022, there were 164,581 foreclosure filings in the U.S. For the first half of 2023, foreclosure filings have reached 185,580, indicating an upward trend.

Home foreclosure happens when homeowners default on their mortgage payments, leading lenders to reclaim and sell the property to recover the owed amount.

A foreclosure remains on a credit report for seven years, impacting credit scores and the ability to secure future loans or credit.

No, foreclosure rates differ by state. Factors like state economy, housing market conditions and mortgage regulations influence these discrepancies.

Yes, lenders typically offer grace periods and may negotiate payment plans. However, consistent nonpayment can eventually lead to foreclosure proceedings.

Related Content

To further your understanding of U.S. foreclosure statistics, we've compiled a list of related resources. These MoneyGeek articles and guides dive deep into foreclosure and related mortgage topics.

  • Foreclosure Process — This guide walks you through the entire foreclosure process, giving clarity on each phase, from missed payments to potential property auctions.
  • Foreclosure Assistance — Facing foreclosure can be daunting. Find various resources and assistance programs that aim to support homeowners in distress.
  • Glossary of Mortgage Terms — Navigate the mortgage landscape with ease using this comprehensive glossary. This is a handy reference, especially when dealing with intricate mortgage topics.
  • What Is a Mortgage? — This article breaks down the fundamental aspects of home financing.

About Nathan Paulus


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Nathan Paulus is the Head of Content Marketing at MoneyGeek, with nearly 10 years of experience researching and creating content related to personal finance and financial literacy.

Paulus has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He enjoys helping people from all walks of life build stronger financial foundations.


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