Miami Legal Tips Blog

Foreclosures May Be Dropping but You May Still Be in Danger

florida-foreclosures-leaderForeclosure rates across the country continue to decline but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. It doesn’t really matter what the market is doing as a whole when your home is at risk. A recent article in Market Watch titled Here are the winners and losers as the foreclosure crisis slogs into extra innings, there is some great, in-depth information on where things are today and where they’re expected to go.

Andrea Riquier writes, “A report from data provider RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure filings in the first half of 2016 were down 20% compared to the second half of 2015. That’s still elevated compared to pre-housing bust levels, though. In the second quarter of 2016, foreclosure activity was lower than pre-recession levels in 15 states, including some that took the biggest hits in the housing crash: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Michigan.

In contrast, several states are still dogged by foreclosure activity well above pre-recession levels, including Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and Indiana. That illustrates the divide between the states that require foreclosures to take place in court, a process that can take years, and those that don’t, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist told MarketWatch.

Blomquist said the judicial, or court-supervised, foreclosures showed how “broken” the process had become. “The root issue that created the dysfunctional foreclosures processes was sloppy and improper documentation on the part of the banks,” he said. In non-judicial states, “it wasn’t an issue because there wasn’t oversight,” Blomquist said. But because in judicial states courts are getting bogged down with complicated foreclosure cases, the national distressed property overhang from the crisis is “in extra innings,” he said.

Nationally, foreclosure activity is still 21% higher than it was before the recession, and the foreclosure rate per number of mortgaged homes in the country is about double — roughly 2.2% compared to the long-term average of 1%. Blomquist thinks the national figures should get back to normal within a year or so. There’s a cruel irony behind some of the numbers. In many metros in the states that are seeing foreclosure activity below pre-recession levels, home values are also soaring. That means most people who made a hard decision to walk away from homes they could no longer afford now have blemished credit records, are likely priced out of the housing market, and are stuck watching home values in their former neighborhoods skyrocket.”

As the article states, Florida still has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Florida foreclosure laws are complex but they can be fought. Turn to Gilbert & Small, the experienced Florida real estate attorneys for your free consultation and to learn more about what your options are.


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