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Updated: April 22, 2022

Maine home foreclosures just soared 23%, rank high in the US — but it could be worse

Courtesy / HubZu This three-bedroom house in Auburn is currently in foreclosure and scheduled to go up for auction next month.

The number of home foreclosures in Maine jumped by nearly a quarter last quarter, a new report shows.

A total of 373 properties across the state had foreclosure filings between Jan. 1 and March 31, or 1 of every 1,981 housing units, according to ATTOM, a national real estate tracking company.

The total represents a 23.1% increase over the last three months of 2021 and an 81.1% increase over Q1 of that year. Maine’s foreclosure rate ranks 17th-highest in the U.S. and third-highest in the Northeast. Only New Jersey, No. 2, and Connecticut, No. 14, ranked higher in the region.

Foreclosures have been rapidly increasing since the federal government ended an emergency moratorium on them last July.

In the following quarter, Maine’s foreclosure rate was 1 of every 3,520 housing units, less than the current level but giving the state the same ranks it now holds, according to ATTOM.

However, the new numbers show Maine is faring better than the U.S. as a whole. Properties with a foreclosure totaled 78,271 nationwide during the first quarter of 2022, of 1 of every 1,795 homes. That total is up 39% from the previous quarter and 132% from a year ago.

"Foreclosure activity has continued to gradually return to normal levels since the expiration of the government's moratorium," said ATTOM Executive Vice President Rick Sharga in a news release.

"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."

ATTOM based its report on a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing, including default notifications, auction proceedings and bank repossessions. Data was collected from more than 3,000 counties nationwide.

The state with the highest foreclosure rate last quarter was Illinois, and the lowest rate was recorded in South Dakota.

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