Part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March 2020, included temporary protections against foreclosure and evictions for homeowners holding federally backed mortgages. This emergency regulatory safeguard kept millions of Americans in their homes during the most economically crippling period of the pandemic. (These are the states where the most people own their homes.)
Thanks to the ongoing nationwide surge in home prices, many of these borrowers hold more equity in their homes than before the global viral outbreak. But not everyone emerged above water from this forbearance lifeline.
According to a recent analysis by property data provider ATTTOM, foreclosure filings hit a post-pandemic high in the first quarter of 2022, at 78,271, up 39% from the previous quarter and 132% from the same period last year. To find the states with the most foreclosures, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed foreclosure data from 2021 and 2022 provided by ATTOM Data Solutions. States are ranked by the number of foreclosures per 100,000 housing units.
Foreclosure activity is still 57% lower than it was in the first three months of 2020, but the return to normal is rapidly approaching. Foreclosures have declined in the 12 months through March 2022 in only three states — Alaska and the Dakotas — while foreclosure activity jumped by well over 200% in five states — New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, and Michigan. Foreclosure activity shot up nearly 500% in Nevada and Michigan. Nationwide, foreclosure activity rose 135%.
Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and Philadelphia had the greatest number of foreclosure filings. For cities with populations under 200,000, the highest foreclosure rates took place in Cleveland, Ohio; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Rockford, Illinois; and Columbia, South Carolina. (See also the city with the highest housing costs in every state.)
In three states — Wyoming, Louisiana, and Mississippi — underwater mortgages accounted for between 10% and 17% of all mortgages, the most among states. An underwater mortgage is when a home is worth less than the money owed on the mortgage.
Here is the state with the worst foreclosure rate this year
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