Sam Gendusa December 13, 2021

Newsletter - December 2021

Despite the federal moratorium ending months ago, foreclosure rates increased by just 2.6% in October, according to Black Knight’s First Look report.

Meanwhile, fewer homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments, with around 2 million loans at least 30 days past due in October — 1.45 million less than October 2020. Serious delinquencies (90 or more days past due) dropped 10% in October, down 1.15 million from last year.

Though the number of foreclosure starts in October (about 4,000) was 90% lower than 2019 levels, some industry experts believe an upsurge is imminent.

“Foreclosure starts are very likely to rise over the next six months to a year, with the increase ranging from a tick to a torrent,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer at ATTOM Solutions.

But struggling homeowners are in a much better position than they were during the 2008 crisis. Home prices are up almost 20% from a year ago, and around 87% of borrowers have positive equity, according to RealtyTrac. That means the market — which has seen record-low inventory over the last year — may be about to get a much-needed injection of housing stock.

Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said: “If a homeowner is unable to pick up their payments again, and they’re unable to qualify for modification, they honestly are going to be able to sell their home really very quickly and probably walk away with a substantial amount of cash in their pocket.”

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