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Florida continues to be mired in foreclosure challenges

Someday the nation will hopefully be able to look back on what were extremely dark days for many millions of people during the so-called Great Recession of recent years and continuing presently and simply be thankful for marked economic improvements.

The question remains for many just how much longer they will have to endure before things start getting materially better.

For many Floridians, that continues to be a most sobering and probing inquiry, especially as it relates to the comparatively high rate of home foreclosure activity in the state.

By virtually any indicator, foreclosure-related numbers in Florida have been -- and continue to be -- dismal.

Consider this. The California firm CoreLogic, which provides financial and property information to clients and the public, states that approximately 111,000 foreclosures were completed in Florida over a one-year period ending this August. That number is flatly staggering, given the nationwide number of 658,463 for the same period.

What it means: Close to 17 percent of all foreclosures in the country occurred in Florida.

Is it getting better? Is the tide slowly turning in the state as evidenced by home values bottoming out and more home owners regaining control over their properties by staying current on payments?

The evidence is solidly mixed. On the one hand, CoreLogic notes that the high number of foreclosures that have been worked through in the state signal a cleaning out process that denotes improvement going forward. On the other hand, though, and even with such a high number of foreclosure completions, the state still continues to lead the nation in existing foreclosure activity.

That makes for a lot more clean-up work to do, and many more challenges to be met before things truly get better.

As CoreLogic notes, Florida has the highest rate of any state for past-due mortgages of three months or more.

Source: Miami Herald, "Florida led the nation in foreclosures completed in August," Martha Brannigan, Oct. 8. 2013

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