Property repossessions hit lowest level since 2005

Foreclosures remain ‘artificially low’ thanks so coronavirus-related protections

The number of properties repossessed by banks in July fell to the lowest level in 15 years.

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A total of 2,163 properties were repossessed last month, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, which is the lowest level since the firm began tracking the statistic in 2005.

It also represents a 14 percent month over month decline, and an 80 percent year over year decline.

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A number of policies put in place by federal, state and local governments have helped protect and support homeowners throughout difficult financial conditions brought on by the pandemic, experts say repossessions and foreclosures may remain low thanks to strong demand.

“Even after default activity starts to increase, we may not see a similar increase in the number of repossessions,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “The combination of record levels of homeowner equity, extremely limited supply of homes for sale, and strong homebuyer demand should give many distressed homeowners an opportunity to sell their property rather than lose it to foreclosure.”

Foreclosure starts across the U.S. in July fell 7% month over month, and 83% year over year. However, a handful of states had foreclosure starts increase, including Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia and California.

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Sharga noted foreclosure activity is “artificially low” thanks to a moratorium that was put in place.

And that is likely to continue. Last weekend, President Trump detailed executive actions on a number of policies to support American families after discussions regarding another stimulus package on Capitol Hill broke down.

One of the measures would prevent residential evictions and foreclosures resulting from coronavirus-related financial hardship.

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