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'Zombie' foreclosures plummet in South Florida, statewide

As many of our readers already know, a house that has been abandoned by its owner in the middle of foreclosure is known as a “zombie” property. Because neither the homeowner nor the bank is taking care of the home, it can quickly become unmaintained, driving down the property value of neighboring houses.

South Florida is among the major metro areas with the highest rates of zombie foreclosures, ranking behind just New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, and just ahead of Tampa. But there is good news: the number of zombie houses in the area has dropped dramatically in the past 12 months.

According a report discussed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, by early May, the zombie house stock in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties dropped 67 percent compared with a year prior. Statewide, the number dropped 62 percent, leaving Florida with the third-most zombie properties in the country.

Still, the presence of zombie homes in South Florida -- 651 still remain -- indicates how foreclosure affects more than the homeowner. It has dragged down entire neighborhoods, and in some parts of the country, entire cities.

Of course, to the individual homeowner, the goal may simply be to keep their home, or work out a deal with the bank that does not leave them financially devastated. Facing the bank on your own can be confusing and frightening. Fortunately, you don’t have to. You can be represented by a foreclosure defense attorney with the experience and knowledge to help you achieve a fair result.

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