RALEIGH – Nationwide, the number of started foreclosure proceedings increased by 27% in August compared to July, a report from ATTOM Data Solutions found.  But the news wasn’t as grim in North Carolina which showed a 19.72% jump and more than 17% year-over-year.

That surge in new foreclosure starts comes in the month following the end to the federal government’s foreclosure moratorium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement announcing the data noted.  Year-over-year, foreclosure starts are up by 60%, the study also found.

“As expected, foreclosure activity increased as the government’s foreclosure moratorium expired, but this doesn’t mean we should expect to see a flood of distressed properties coming to market,” said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company, in a statement.  “We’ll continue to see foreclosure activity increase over the next three months as loans that were in default prior to the moratorium re-enter the foreclosure pipeline, and states begin to catch up on months of foreclosure filings that simply haven’t been processed during the pandemic. But it’s likely that foreclosures will remain below normal levels at least through the end of the year.”

In North Carolina, foreclosure starts increased 19.72% in August compared to July, and are up 17.44% year-over-year.  In total, across the state, 431 new foreclosures were initiated in the month of August, the data from ATTOM Data Solutions showed, which is equivalent to one property in every 10,736 housing units.

Even as foreclosures increased in North Carolina, housing markets across the state are still experiencing demand-side pressure, as the total number of foreclosure starts that took place nationally in August 2021 are nearly three times fewer than the number that occurred in August 2019, the Sharga noted.

And there is some variability in the data set, which ATTOM Data Solutions shared with WRAL TechWire upon request.

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At the county level, new foreclosure starts are up 400% in Lincoln County, in the Charlotte MSA, and also up 400% in Catawba County, in the Hickory MSA.  But new foreclosures decreased in 26 of the 74 North Carolina counties. Foreclosures rose month-over-month in 34 of the 74 counties.

Cumberland County, in the Fayetteville MSA, saw the most number of new foreclosure starts in August 2021, with 29.  Mecklenburg County, in the Charlotte MSA, had 27 new foreclosure starts.  Guilford County, in the Greensboro MSA, had 26 new foreclosure starts.

Wake County, in the Raleigh MSA, had 20 new foreclosure starts, and Durham County (Durham MSA) and Forsyth County (Winston-Salem MSA) both had 16 new foreclosure starts.

Of regions where a least 500 properties were in foreclosure during the third quarter of 2021, Mecklenburg County had the fifth lowest rate of vacant properties undergoing foreclosure proceedings, with 0.7% of such homes sitting vacant, compared to the national average of 3.5%, an earlier report from ATTOM Data Solutions found.

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