Foreclosure activity falling but still sees annual increase, data shows

What to do if you are struggling to make mortgage payments

Foreclosure activity fell in November but remained elevated from the same time in 2020. Here's what struggling homeowners can do. 

Foreclosure activity decreased in November, but was up by 94% from the same time in 2020, marking the seventh consecutive month of annual increases, according to the latest report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a comprehensive foreclosure data company. 

November saw a total of 19,479 U.S. property foreclosure filings, default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions. This is down by 5% from October, ATTOM’s November 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed.

"After an initial surge following the end of the government’s moratorium, it appears that foreclosure activity may be slowing down as we move towards the end of the year," Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company, said at the time of the report’s release. "Despite concerns about a pandemic-driven wave of defaults, mortgage delinquency rates and foreclosure starts have continued to decline due to government and industry programs, and a recovering U.S. economy."

Homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments can consider refinancing into a lower rate to lower their monthly payments. Check out Credible to find your personalized mortgage interest rate without affecting your credit score.


Areas with the highest foreclosure rates

The highest foreclosure rates were seen in Illinois, where one in every 3,187 housing units had a foreclosure filing, according to ATTOM’s data. Other states with high foreclosure rates include Florida, Ohio, Delaware and New Jersey.

New mortgage foreclosure filings slid in November, which Sharga said was encouraging. 

"The fact that foreclosure starts declined despite hundreds of thousands of borrowers exiting the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program over the last few months is very encouraging," Sharga said. "It suggests that the ‘forbearance equals foreclosure’ narrative was incorrect, and that the efforts of the government and the mortgage servicing industry have prevented potentially millions of unnecessary foreclosures from happening due to COVID-19."

If you are having trouble with your monthly mortgage payment, you could consider refinancing to lower your interest rate. Visit Credible to compare multiple mortgage lenders at once and choose the one with the best interest rate for you.


What to do if you are struggling with mortgage payments

If your monthly mortgage payment is becoming difficult to manage, there are several options available that can help you get back on track. Here are a few to consider:

Enter mortgage forbearance

Mortgage forbearance, which allows homeowners to pause their principal and interest payments for a set period of time, is available to many homeowners. Entering forbearance will not affect a homeowner's credit score and their loan will continue to show as current on their credit report. They'll also have several options to make up the missed payments, including making a lump sum payment, adding the missed payments to the end of the loan or other loan modification options. 

Unlike other types of federal loans, there is currently no set date for when the option to enter forbearance on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will end. Homeowners can contact their mortgage servicer to get more information about entering forbearance or other loss mitigation options.

Refinance your home loan

Mortgage interest rates are hovering at historic lows, meaning many borrowers could still save on their mortgage payments by refinancing their home loans. Some homeowners could even save hundreds on their monthly payments. If you are interested in a mortgage refinance, visit Credible to consider your options and see how much you could save.

Sell your home

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your monthly mortgage payments, selling your home can be an option too. In many cases, doing so prevents the need to go through the foreclosure process and could leave homeowners with a profit rather than a foreclosure sale or eviction. Home prices have surged nearly 20% since 2020, and values continue to grow. 

If you are experiencing financial hardship and considering your options for your mortgage loan, contact Credible to speak to a home loan expert and get all of your questions answered.

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