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Home values: Up in many areas, with notable lagging in Florida

Above ground or underwater.

It is essentially one of those two realities for homeowners across the country, including in Florida.

Sink or swim. Tread water or drown. Rise with the tide or get pulled downstream.

Those images have been steadfastly depicted in the media since the so-called “Great Recession” of recent years, fueled in no small part by the massive collapse of the housing market nationally and its corresponding plummeting home values.

As most people in Florida now know well (with many of them experiencing firsthand sharp housing-related dislocations), the once-predicted call of some that home prices would simply rise perpetually was far off the mark. In fact, and sadly, home prices for many in Florida and millions nationally have fallen sharply in recent years.

The national data-driven real estate company RealtyTrac provides telling statistics to indicate just how dire things have been for some homeowners, especially Floridians.

Contrastive numbers go far toward putting things into perspective. RealtyTrac points to San Francisco as a locale where only about four percent of all homes are underwater (worth less than their outstanding mortgage). In Florida, conversely, more than three of every 10 homeowners have a mortgage that exceeds the value of the property to which it applies.

That is indeed woeful, and an even worse reality attaches to other select locales across the country.

As those numbers indicate, the bounce back from the housing collapse has been highly uneven; owners in some areas are regaining substantial value in what was lost in their homes in recent years, while owners elsewhere continue to struggle, some mightily so.

Foreclosure-related numbers nationally provide strong evidence that Florida homeowners have been hit comparatively hard.

For some of those homeowners, debt relief is a dire necessity. Many debt-ridden property owners and other persons who face insurmountable financial challenges owing to credit card debt, medical bills and other outlays find that filing for bankruptcy is a viable and quite sound solution for regaining financial freedom.

A proven bankruptcy attorney can answer questions and provide strong legal assistance in any debt-related matter.

Source: NBC News, “Sluggish home prices leave millions underwater,” John W. Schoen, April 17, 2014

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