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.

  • 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

Horizontal chart of foreclosure activity in the US from 2008 to 2023

Source: ATTOM

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

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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    Economic Recessions

    Economic downturns reduce income and job opportunities, making mortgage repayments difficult for many homeowners.

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    High Unemployment Rates

    Job losses directly impact homeowners' ability to make timely mortgage payments, leading to potential foreclosures.

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    Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

    Mortgages with varying interest rates can see sudden hikes, causing unexpected payment increases that homeowners might not be able to afford.

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    Medical Emergencies

    Unexpected health crises can drain savings and lead to significant debts, pushing homeowners to default on mortgages.

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    Divorce or Family Disruptions

    Significant life changes like divorce or spousal death can result in reduced household income, making mortgage management challenging.

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.


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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.

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.
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  • 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 director of content marketing at MoneyGeek. Nathan has been creating content for nearly 10 years and is particularly engaged in personal finance, investing, and property management. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas Houston.