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'Zombie' foreclosures drop 54 percent in South Florida

One consequence of Florida’s foreclosure crisis was a surge in so-called “zombie” foreclosures. Many homeowners, frustrated by the slowness of the foreclosure process, and often deeply underwater on their homes, chose to abandon their property, leaving it empty and untended. A living dead house.

If the number of zombie foreclosures indicated the overwhelming size of the problem, news from the Miami Herald could suggest that the crisis is continuing to recede in at least parts of Florida. The paper reports that zombie foreclosures in South Florida have dropped 54 percent over the past year.

According to RealtyTrac, in the second quarter of 2014, there were 15,300 properties in foreclosure in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties that had been abandoned by their owners. Over that same time period this year, the number had dropped to a little more than 7,000.

However, Florida remains among the national leaders in zombie foreclosures, along with New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Indiana.

For South Florida homeowners, fewer zombie foreclosures are good news. Abandoned properties tend to lower nearby property values, because nobody is maintaining them. For people dealing with foreclosure, the figure could mean that the courts are less backlogged, allowing their cases to proceed at a more reasonable pace and convincing more people to see the case through to the end.

While it may be tempting at times to simply give up after the bank begins foreclosure proceedings, often a solution exists that allows you to keep your home, or otherwise avoid financial catastrophe. A foreclosure defense attorney can tell you more.

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