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Foreclosure rate dropping in Florida, but still high

After several years of having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S., the trend is finally going the other way in Florida. As of the end of 2013, the number of open foreclosure cases as a percentage of overall properties in the state was still the worst in the country at 6.67 percent. But that rate was 10.27 percent just one year earlier, indicating that the number of new foreclosures is dropping.

In raw numbers, the number of active foreclosures in Florida is currently around 277,000. That is about a 50 percent drop from two years ago. However, about a quarter of all foreclosures in the country are located in Florida. Clearly, foreclosure is still a major problem here. In addition, the number of mortgages that are 90 days delinquent or more remains high, at 11.18 percent, compared with 5.03 percent nationally.

Still, the trend in many Florida counties is positive. In the Sarasota-Manatee region, the foreclosure rate reached 12.23 percent in the summer of 2011.  By the end of last year, the rate was 5.82 percent. It appears that the recovering economy has helped, as well as the return of real estate investors to the scene.

We hope that this trend will continue in 2014 and beyond. Foreclosure can be a stressful and frightening experience for homeowners. The proceeding can end with the loss of your family home, even when the foreclosure was started in error. Homeowners who are facing foreclosure need an attorney on their side to represent their rights and interests, and to deal with the lender’s attorneys.

Source: Herald-Tribune, “Foreclosure rate continues to fall,” John Hielscher, Feb. 26, 2014

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