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Florida had 2nd-worst foreclosure rate in U.S. last year

Throughout 2015, we tracked changes in Florida’s foreclosure rate in this blog. The news was generally positive, with new filings tending to drop when compared with filings from 2014. But the state is still far behind virtually the entire rest of the U.S. when it comes to recovering from the foreclosure crisis.

CNBC reports that Florida had the second-highest rate of new home foreclosure filings of any state at 1.77 percent of all homes. Only New Jersey had a worse rate; lenders there filed for foreclosure on 1.91 percent of housing stock.

Nationally, foreclosure filings dropped to 0.82 percent, a nine-year low. But the housing recovery continues to arrive slowly in Florida and New Jersey. The top five metro areas for foreclosure in 2015 all came from those two states. Among them were Miami, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. Atlantic City and Trenton were the two worst metro areas for home foreclosure.

Outside economic forces can keep the foreclosure rate high, as can a state’s foreclosure laws. An executive with RealtyTrac, which released the statistics, referred to the foreclosure process in Florida and New Jersey as “dysfunctional.” He said that lenders and servicers in both states tend to cut corners when it comes to proper documentation.

Thus, though the housing picture is slowly improving in Florida, many residents can expect to face losing their home in 2016. Being tossed onto the street is not inevitable. Homeowners often have several legal options that their attorney can explain to them and help them achieve.

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