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Policy Matters Ohio

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

August 03, 2018

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

August 03, 2018

by Kezia Otinkorang

Introduction

More than 35,000 foreclosure cases were filed in Ohio county courts in 2017. This remains well over twice the rate we saw in the mid-1990s, specifically from 1993 to 1995, when predatory home loans became an enormous factor in Ohio’s economy. Last year’s foreclosure level was nonetheless an improvement over 2016 and every other year since 2000. The new filing total—35,169—was about 10 percent fewer (3,794) than in 2016 and is the smallest number since 2000.[1] It equates to one foreclosure filing for every 146 housing units in the state[2] and is down by about 60 percent since its peak of 89,053 in 2009.[3] This follows a general trend of declining foreclosure filing rates since the devastating rates in 2009. However, 27 Ohio counties still experienced an increase in foreclosure filing rates from the previous year.[4] Figure 1 shows annual foreclosure filings over the past 27 years. Although filings are well below the peak, they remain close to 2.2 times above the 1995 level of 15,975.

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

More than half of foreclosure filings are from the ten most populous counties

The ten most populous counties in Ohio accounted for about 58 percent (20,315) of the state’s 35,169 filings in 2017. As Table 1 shows, all but one of these experienced a decrease in foreclosure filings, with Montgomery and Summit Counties leading the pack with a decrease of 17 percent each. Declines in other counties ranged from 7 percent to 16 percent. Butler County saw an increase of 4 percent. In 2016, only four of the most populous counties (Summit, Butler, Cuyahoga, and Montgomery Counties) experienced a decrease in filings.

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

Foreclosure Filings Per Capita in Ohio’s Communities

In 2017, there were about three (3.02) foreclosure filings per 1,000 people in Ohio. In 26 counties, including nine of Ohio’s largest (by population), rates were worse than this. Table 2 shows that the county with the highest filing rate was Guernsey, with 7.57 filings per 1,000 people. This marked the first time in the past 14 years that Guernsey County had ranked among the top ten counties. The county with the lowest filing rate overall was Holmes County, which had a rate of 0.45 filings per 1,000 people in 2017.

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

Table 3 illustrates changes in the ten hardest-hit counties between 2016 and 2017, and the relatively sharp increase between these years in the highest foreclosure filing rate (from 5.6 in 2016 to 7.57 in 2017). Hocking and Guernsey counties saw by far the largest relative increase in filings last year from the year before. Six of the ten hardest-hit counties from the 2016 list were also on the 2017 list.

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

Appendices 1 and 2 below show foreclosure filing rates and trends in all 88 counties

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017

Still a problem: Ohio Foreclosures, 2017


[1] Ohio Supreme Court, Policy Matters Ohio review of filings in U.S. district courts. Numbers include both tax and mortgage foreclosures, but not tax foreclosure filings at county boards of revision for vacant abandoned properties. Data received by Zach Schiller, April 3, 2018 in response to records request.

[2] We used the 2016 estimate for Ohio housing units because a 2017 estimate was not yet available. American Fact Finder, U.S. Census Bureau, Table B25001. Retrieved by author on 07/16/2018.

[3] Ohio Supreme Court, Policy Matters Ohio review of filings in U.S. district courts.

[4] Data here largely consists of initial filings collected from county common plea courts. Initial filings include non-mortgage foreclosure cases and may contain double filings when bankruptcy interrupts the process. Initial filings do not include cases where owners return titles to lenders without going through the courts or tax foreclosure cases handled through county boards of revision.

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2018Housing & Foreclosure

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