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Report: Florida Foreclosures Top in the Nation

While it seems we regularly receive reports of an improved housing market landscape in Florida, we continue to be confronted by the fact that we have had one of the highest if not the highest rates of foreclosure in the country since the beginning of the economic downturn.

The latest report from economic think tank CoreLogic was no exception. Our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers understand that for the 12 months ending in August, Florida had the most foreclosures of anywhere else in the country.

As the Miami Herald put it: “No other state was even close.”
Nationwide from August 2012 through August 2013, there were approximately 660,000 foreclosures completed. Of those, about 111,000 – or 17 percent – originated in Florida. The No. 2 state was Michigan with 60,000 foreclosures. This was followed by California and Texas, with Georgia rounding out the top five.

In addition to completing the most foreclosures, Florida also has the highest percentage of homes in the country that were in some stage of the process. The data source said that nearly 8 percent of homes in Florida met that criteria as of August. The second-highest state in this regard was New Jersey, which reported some 6.2 percent of homes in foreclosure.

And when it came to homeowners who were at serious risk of their home falling into some state of foreclosure, Florida was No. 1 again. As of August, some 12.4 percent of mortgages were 90 or more days past due. That was more than double the national average, which was 5.3 percent.

Researchers with RealtyTrac, meanwhile, have gone on record as saying that while these figures may continue to fluctuate, the foreclosure crisis has “largely passed,” adding that the “end is in sight.”
We hope that’s true. We do know that Broward County posted nearly 3,300 filings in September, which was a nearly 25 percent drop from where it was a year earlier. In Palm Beach County, there were approximately 1,800 filings, a 7 percent dip from where it was this time last year. Statewide, there was an approximately 22 percent drop.

However, that decrease may be artificial. A law that was passed in early July mandates that lenders must have all supporting paperwork proving ownership in order to file. The fact that the numbers have fallen so sharply should tell us a lot about the way in which these lenders and mortgage services had been doing business before. It also doesn’t give us a great deal of confidence in their future filings.

What many people don’t realize when they are served with foreclosure notices is that many of these cases result in victories for the bank simply by default. People assume they can’t fight them.

The truth of the matter is, there are many ways homeowners can win these cases. Those include forcing the bank to hand over relevant documents proving ownership, pressing for a reasonable loan modification (as required of many banks by the national mortgage fraud settlement) and buying yourself more time to come up with the cost of the payments with a motion to extend.

No matter what your situation, we can help you figure out the option that seems to make the most sense.

If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Legal for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.

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