Florida Home Foreclosures Increase in July

Florida Foreclosures By The Numbers

During the month of July, lenders repossessed more than 6,700 Florida homes. That is an increase of 38% over the last year, a trend contrary to other parts of the country that are beginning to see more cooperative banks who are willing to help borrowers.

RealtyTrac recently released a report that showed a 21% decline in the number of homes foreclosed on in July 2012 versus that of 2011. That number was also down 1% from June 2012. It marks the 21st straight month of decline in foreclosures across the country. Incidentally, the increase in Florida comes as a surprise to many analysts.

Adds RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist, “The party line from banks is they are wanting to avoid taking these homes as much as possible now. It’s just increasingly less appealing for them to repossess a property and it’s bad PR.”

One bright spot in South Florida is Palm Beach County, which posted a 28% decrease in bank foreclosures during July 2012 versus one year ago. Many buyers with balloon mortgages have seen their mortgages adjust in recent years to unaffordable payments. Trying to negotiate a loan modification in recent years has been next to impossible. Despite begging and pleading with loan servicers to lower interest rates or modify a mortgage, many borrowers found themselves out of luck or without any answers at all. Fortunately, more and more banks are beginning to realize that is makes more sense to adjust a borrower’s mortgage and at least be recouping some of their money versus foreclosing on the property and having it sit on their books for months at a time.

RealtyTrac follows three types of foreclosure filings, including the initial notice, advertisement of sale, and the final bank takeover after auction. Florida moved to third place behind California and Arizona in overall foreclosure activity for the month of July. In June, the state ranked sixth nationally. Part of the jump is attributed to initial foreclosure filings, which increased in both Palm Beach County and across the state in July. Across the country, foreclosures were down 6% from June to July, but up 6% from the same period last year.

Blomquist notes, “Recent foreclosure activity patterns vary significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state’s foreclosure process.” In Florida, it takes 861 days to foreclose on a home on average, which is more than two years.

It’s created a unique real estate situation in Florida, that’s for certain. Realtors are dying for inventory, but more distressed homes mean that prices are lower. The supply of single-family homes in Palm Beach County declined to five months, and statewide inventory was down 40% in June.

Jim Banford, chief executive of Real Estate Asset Disposition Corp. of West Palm Beach, adds,” The characteristics of the market are still lots and lots of buyers chasing few properties. We have terrific demand and not enough supply.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Palm Beach County Florida short sales, please contact our team of short sale real estate experts

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