TRENTON, NJ – A post-pandemic study by RealtyTrac shows that New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio lead the nation in the level of foreclosure since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In New Jersey, the high foreclosure spike was fueled by Governor Phil Murphy’s extended lockdown during the pandemic.

By executive order, Murphy shut down businesses state wide for months, then slowly reopened them with limited capacities and arbitrary public health guidelines while many other states across the nation reopened to avoid longterm personal financial disasters.

Those shutdown forced hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans to tap into retirement accounts early or worse, go into default and delinquency on home mortgage payments, energy bills and utility bills. The extended Murphy lockdown compounded problems for thousands of New Jerseyans who are now losing their homes after the federal foreclosure moratorium ended.

New Jersey’s foreclosure rate more than two times higher than the rest of the country.

According to RealtyTrac, nationwide one in every 1,795 housing units had a foreclosure filing in Q1 2022. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Illinois (one in every 791 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 792 housing units); Ohio (one in every 991 housing units); South Carolina (one in every 1,081 housing units); and Nevada (one in every 1,090 housing units).

The report also shows a total of 33,333 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2022, up 29 percent from the previous month and up 181 percent from a year ago — the 11th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in U.S. foreclosure activity.

“Foreclosure activity has continued to gradually return to normal levels since the expiration of the government’s moratorium and the CFPB’s enhanced mortgage servicing guidelines,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for ATTOM. “But even with the large year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts and bank repossessions, foreclosure activity is still only running at about 57% of where it was in Q1 2020, the last quarter before the government enacted consumer protection programs due to the pandemic.”

Foreclosure starts increase in all 50 states 

A total of 50,759 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in Q1 2022, up 67 percent from the previous quarter and up 188 percent from a year ago.


States that had the greatest number of foreclosures starts in Q1 2022 included, California (5,378 foreclosure starts), Florida (4.707 foreclosure starts), Texas (4,649 foreclosure starts), Illinois (3,534 foreclosure starts), and Ohio (3,136 foreclosure starts).

U.S. Foreclosure Starts

Those major metros that had the greatest number of foreclosures starts in Q1 2022 included, Chicago, Illinois (3,101 foreclosure starts), New York, New York (2,580 foreclosure starts), Los Angeles, California (1,554 foreclosure starts), Houston, Texas (1,431 foreclosure starts), and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1,375 foreclosure starts).

Highest foreclosure rates in Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio 

Among 223 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in Q1 2022 were Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 535 housing units); Atlantic City, New Jersey (one in 600); Jacksonville, North Carolina (one in 633); Rockford, Illinois (one in 634); and Columbia, South Carolina (one in 672).

U.S. Historical Total Foreclosure Activity

Other major metros with a population of at least 1 million and foreclosure rates in the top 20 highest nationwide, included Cleveland, Ohio at No.1, Chicago, Illinois at No. 6, Detroit, Michigan at No. 10, Las Vegas, Nevada at No. 13, and Jacksonville, Florida at No. 16.

Bank repossessions increase 41 percent from last quarter 
Lenders repossessed 11,824 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1 2022, up 41 percent from the previous quarter and up 160 percent from a year ago.

U.S. Completed Foreclosures (REOs)


Those states that had the greatest number of REOs in Q1 2022 were Michigan (1,592 REOs); Illinois (1,288 REOs); Florida (673 REOs); California (655 REOs); and Pennsylvania (639 REOs).

March 2022 Foreclosure Activity High-Level Takeaways

“March foreclosure activity was at its highest level in exactly two years – since March 2020, when there were almost 47,000 foreclosure filings across the country,” Sharga added. “It’s likely that we’ll continue to see significant month-over-month and year-over-year growth through the second quarter of 2022, but still won’t reach historically normal levels of foreclosures until the end of the year at the earliest, unless the U.S. economy takes a significant turn for the worse.”

  • Nationwide in March 2022, one in every 4,215 properties had a foreclosure filing.
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in March 2022 were Illinois (one in every 1,825 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 2,022 housing units); South Carolina (one in every 2,299 housing units); Delaware (one in every 2,579 housing units); and Ohio (one in every 2,604 housing units).
  • 22,360 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in March 2022, up 35 percent from the previous month and up 248 percent from March 2021.
  • Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 4,406 U.S. properties in March 2022, up 67 percent from the previous month and up 180 percent from March 2021.

U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – Q1 2022

Rate
Rank
State NameTotal
Properties
with Filings
1/every X HU
(Foreclosure
Rate)
%∆ Q4
2021
%∆ Q1
2021
U.S.78,2711,79539.34132.27
18Alabama1,1432,00268.8378.87
44Alaska526,106-17.46-32.47
15Arizona1,6561,861165.38134.23
34Arkansas4413,09631.25143.65
12California8,2431,74631.80119.64
32Colorado8303,002162.66385.38
14Connecticut8241,85726.38120.32
6Delaware3861,16329.9751.97
District of
Columbia
477,4550.00147.37
8Florida8,1471,2110.8592.87
10Georgia2,5921,70255.58123.64
30Hawaii1942,892-0.5184.76
43Idaho1256,01516.82111.86
1Illinois6,86179117.99178.45
7Indiana2,4151,21058.05100.58
16Iowa7281,94134.3278.00
40Kansas2704,72574.19147.71
41Kentucky4174,78318.137.75
22Louisiana9072,28652.1818.72
17Maine3731,98123.1081.07
11Maryland1,4831,70721.16132.45
35Massachusetts9663,10414.5968.29
9Michigan3,2051,426190.57490.24
37Minnesota7733,21572.93170.28
33Mississippi4333,04886.6473.20
24Missouri1,1512,42168.0375.73
45Montana776,68671.1197.44
36Nebraska2673,162190.22178.13
5Nevada1,1751,09022.91487.50
38New Hampshire1933,31047.3396.94
2New Jersey4,75279269.29311.79
25New Mexico3762,50215.6944.06
26New York3,2152,64025.54261.64
20North Carolina2,2652,07938.03102.59
47North Dakota3510,590-65.00-12.50
3Ohio5,28999146.31154.16
13Oklahoma9561,82749.84111.50
46Oregon2397,589143.8895.90
21Pennsylvania2,7022,12561.70102.09
39Rhode Island1413,429-20.79147.37
4South Carolina2,1701,08176.42158.95
50South Dakota2217,72410.00-8.33
28Tennessee1,0842,79749.52125.36
23Texas4,9822,32636.61130.33
19Utah5582,06367.5771.17
49Vermont2413,9309.09200.00
29Virginia1,2872,81145.75118.88
42Washington6454,96538.71109.42
48West Virginia7910,831125.71119.44
27Wisconsin9832,77530.5442.26
31Wyoming932,92443.0814.81