The mortgage crisis in 2007 forced many homeowners in Florida and throughout the nation to find ways to keep their homes. Home foreclosure activity continued to rise in the state, according to a property and real estate data provider. However, there is a positive trend occurring in the industry, particularly in Southwest Florida.
Previously, the Sarasota-Manatee area had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Now the area ranks 90th among the 217 largest national metro areas. The number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process has decreased by 5 percent over the past year.
In 2016, local foreclosure activity was at its lowest level in 10 years, 86 percent lower than its peak during the recession. Foreclosure filings, including default notices, bank repossessions and scheduled auctions, were also down in the first quarter of 2017. Lenders did note that there was an increase in the number of lis pendens, typically the first foreclosure process step. However, industry officials recognize that everyone that initially starts the foreclosure process will proceed with it in court.
Nationwide, foreclosure filings were down 19 percent from last year. Florida remained first in the country with filings. However, the number was down 34 percent from last year.
The goal of Florida homeowners is to remain in their homes. When facing a difficult financial situation, many consumers seek the advice of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. A legal team can work with financial institutions to help a client avoid home foreclosure or file for bankruptcy, whichever path is most beneficial. A strong lawyer will evaluate all options and develop a plan to assist clients in their goals to get back on track financially.
Source: dailycommercial.com, "Local foreclosure rates stay at pre-recession levels", John Hielscher, April 13, 2017