While the number of foreclosures was close to historic lows covered by the protection of the CARES Act, filings rose year over year, according to Attom Data Solutions.
The number of foreclosure requests – including reminders, bank seizures and scheduled auctions – stood at 10,821 in May, down 8% from 11,810 in April and up 23% from 8,767 last year. A total of 5,909 properties started foreclosure, down 7% monthly from April 6,355, while up 36% in May 2020 from 4,356 properties in May 2020.
Although annual growth in both categories was the first in the moratorium period, the totals are still relatively small, said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Attom's consumer-centric RealtyTrac business.
"While the increase in foreclosure activity is significant, it is important to keep an eye on these numbers," Sharga said in the report. "Last year's numbers have been extremely low due to the implementation of the foreclosure moratorium and the CARES mortgage forbearance program, so the year-over-year numbers look a lot more dramatic than they are."
Many more vulnerable states saw strong monthly growth. Of those with 100 or more starts, Ohio rose 96% as of April, followed by 78% in Alabama, 65% in Michigan, 61% in Georgia, and 50% in Virginia.
One in 12,700 mortgageed U.S. homes was in foreclosure in May, compared with one in 11,636 in April and 15,556 the year before. Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate with one of 5,535 units. Delaware fell in second place with one of 5,854 units, followed by Illinois with one of 5,903.
Broken down by major cities with more than 200,000 residents, Champaign, Illinois had the highest foreclosure rate with one of 2,420 units. Next came just a few hours away in Peoria, Illinois, one in 3,030, followed by Cleveland's one in 3,715.
Lender redemptions fell 15% monthly and 54% annually, with a total of 1,315 properties completing foreclosures in May. California had the most REOs for the month at 154, followed by 148 in Florida and 144 in Illinois.