Foreclosure Rate Increases
A report by a company that tracks foreclosed properties reveals that in the third quarter Florida recorded 67,886 filings, the second highest total in the U.S. RealtyTrac reported that one in every nine foreclosures in the country occurred in Florida.
Banks and other lenders who in the face of the robo-signing and incorrect or fraudulent paperwork scandals underwent a self imposed freeze on foreclosure filings are now restarting their foreclosure processes. This increase in foreclosure activity is reflected throughout the country as lenders feel their systems are now meeting the required criteria.
The numbers of foreclosures are still below the levels of the comparable period in the previous year but the CEO of RealtyTrac, James Saccacio, feels that this is a temporary situation and that foreclosures are starting to gradually increase.
House prices will continue to maintain a downward trend because of any increase in foreclosure filings but the court system, which recently received a $45.6 million loan to offset the shortfall in incomes due to the foreclosure filing fees coming in below the estimated targets, should now see their revenues increase in tandem with the rise in filings. For every 130 housing units in Florida there was one foreclosure during the third quarter which marked a decrease of 57 percent from the third quarter in 2010 but signified a rise of 15 percent on the second quarter.
The report also points out that the length of time that foreclosure cases take to come to a conclusion is an additional problem, with foreclosed properties in Florida taking an average of 749 days to process. This delay in processing cases has prompted lawmakers in Florida to propose switching to a non-judicial or a hybrid foreclosure process such as some other states practice. However Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, stated that any switch would not affect the current backlog of cases and would solely apply to foreclosures in the future.