Charlotte County foreclosures in 2020 totaled 178 versus 362 from the previous year, reflecting both the federally mandated moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, and banks’ willingness to work with those who have defaulted on their loans.
Data from the Charlotte County Clerk showed that foreclosures in 2020 were the lowest in 16 years, and possibly more, since the data only goes back to 2004.
Cynthia Logan, treasurer for Realtors of Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port-DeSoto, Inc., said that besides the moratorium on foreclosures, there was another factor: “Banks have done forebearance.” She said banks were willing to work with borrowers as it was better for them to work out plans, especially if borrowers had a path to a financial solution.
She said with the new presidential administration, there might be “a whole new slew of regulations” designed to help those falling into default on their loans.
Meanwhile, after the moratorium ended Dec. 31, Logan began to see an uptick in lis pendens filings; a lis pendens is a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate and the first step in initiating a foreclosure for lack of payment.
Logan said although an increase has been seen in properties subject to foreclosure, it could all change if homeowners are afforded further protection under the Biden administration, with either a new moratorium or relief or stimulus packages passed into law.
Ending 2020, December had a total of 12 foreclosures in Charlotte County; in December 2019, there were 30 foreclosures. The same pattern held true for every month in 2020 except for August, which had more foreclosures than in 2019.
The data from 2004 to present reflects the state of the economy at a given time, and events such as the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. The pandemic’s effect can be seen in 2020, which had the least amount of foreclosures.
The second-lowest number of foreclosures came in 2005, with 470, closely followed by 2004 which had 475 foreclosures.
During the Great Recession (2007-2009), at its peak there were 4,922 foreclosures in 2008. The other two years yielding high numbers were 2009 with 4,550 foreclosures and 2007 with 2,542 foreclosures. One year later, as the recession ebbed, 2010 saw 2,494 foreclosures.