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Recent hurricanes cause of home foreclosure increases

Over the past several weeks, two major hurricanes caused catastrophic damage to areas in the country. Hurricane Harvey affected many areas in other states, while Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc to several Florida communities. Given these disasters, the level of non-current mortgages and home foreclosure numbers rose significantly for the month of September.

The numbers, released by a national financial services company, mainly showed increases in areas that were affected by the storms. Before Hurricane Irma, Florida ranked 22nd in the nation for homes in active foreclosure or payments over 30 days past-due. After the storm, Florida jumped to third in the ranking. Another telling statistic is that the annual mortgage delinquency rate rose for the first time since July 2010.

However, due to a moratorium on foreclosure actions in hurricane-affected areas, foreclosure starts were at their lowest level since 2000 for September. In fact, some areas experienced a 90 percent drop in foreclosure starts due to the disaster. On the other hand, those loans that were 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure had risen almost 12 percent from the previous month.

There had been significant improvements in the numbers for delinquencies, home foreclosure and other mortgage indicators. However, when disasters like Hurricane Irma strike, the situation can become quickly devastating again. Even when facing difficult financial situations, Florida residents want to avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help homeowners understand their situation and all the options available to them. An experienced lawyer can help develop a plan to get residents back on the right track with their finances.

Source: mpamag.com, "Hurricane fallout drives surge in past-due mortgages", Francis Monfort, Oct. 23, 2017

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