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VERIFY: No, the ending of the moratorium did not lead to foreclosures skyrocketing

The booming housing market has helped keep foreclosures near historic lows.

PHOENIX — The moratorium on foreclosures was meant to provide relief for those struggling financially during the pandemic. Some experts worried that when the moratorium ended last year, it would lead to a wave of foreclosures. 

THE QUESTION: 

Did the end to the foreclosure moratorium lead to a wave of Arizona foreclosures?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER: FALSE

"The simple answer is, we have not seen that," Trevor Halpern with Halpern Residential at North&Co, said. 

The numbers back that up. According to the Cromford Report, the market saw 228 notices of foreclosures in January. That number is the highest since the pandemic began, but still historically low.  

“To put those numbers into context. If you look into the height of when foreclosures were happening, March 2009, we had 10,500 of these notices going out,“ Halpern said.  

The current foreclosure numbers are low compared to non-recession times. For example, there were 556 notices of foreclosures in January of 1996. Since then, Phoenix has grown by nearly two million people. 

Housing experts say the hot housing market is the reason behind the low number of foreclosures.  

"Even if you get behind on payments, chances are you can sell your home and get out from under it," Halpern said. 

"You are not going to have to do a short sell. Because our marketplace is continuing to appreciate, homeowners are protected by that appreciation and can turn around and just sell their home."

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