California-based Attom Data Solutions, which tracks national housing and foreclosure data, recently released its first-quarter U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for 2021.
It showed that foreclosure filings in Arkansas were up 34% from the fourth quarter of 2020 but down 83% from a year prior. A total of 181 foreclosure filings within the first quarter this year includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions among Arkansas’ 1.37 million housing units, meaning one of 7,571 housing units filed foreclosure. Across America, one in every 4,078 housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter this year.
The report also shows 53 Arkansas properties in March with foreclosure filings, up from 43 in February.
In the U.S., foreclosure filings were up 9% in the first three months of 2021, compared with the last three months of 2020, but down 78% compared with the first quarter of 2020.
“The foreclosure moratorium on government-backed loans has virtually stopped foreclosure activity over the past year,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an Attom Data Solutions company. He explains that the sudden increase can be explained by mortgage servicers, who have begun filing foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties.
A home goes into the foreclosure process when the owner can’t pay the mortgage. Banks begin the foreclosure process by filing a notice of a foreclosure hearing that will decide whether a home is sold at auction. A home is considered “distressed” when it’s under any stage of foreclosure.
Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter this year were Lake Havasu City, Ariz., (one in every 518 housing units); Provo, Utah (one in 1,280); McAllen, Texas (one in 1,297).
Among Arkansas metros included in the report, Northwest Arkansas had one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country (one in 36,135 units). That ranks the region No. 217 out of the top 220 metro regions.
Other Arkansas metros in the report were Fort Smith (one in 8,336) and central Arkansas (one in 3,825).