It’s a contest with other states that Florida officials would undoubtedly prefer to lose.
Unfortunately, the state has been consistently “winning” nationally in a most dubious category, namely, foreclosures.
It’s no secret that the state time and again tops the rankings for all American states in this less-than-stellar grouping. In fact, and as noted in a recent report on foreclosures in the United States, Florida has had an implacable grip on first place for a sustained period. As the national real estate organization RealtyTrac reports, Florida has led the nation in foreclosures for 13 of the previous 13 months.
Why is that?
Questionable lending practices obviously prevailed in Florida in the years leading up to the so-called Great Recession that beset the country a handful-plus of years ago, coupled with high numbers of borrowers who simply couldn’t keep up with payments. Myriad reasons contributed to that, including job loss, unexpected medical bills, mushrooming student loan obligations and other exactions.
As noted in the above-cited report, Florida has taken legislative action to curb foreclosures, with legislators approving a bill last year that allowed lenders to skirt customary court processes in some instances in order to repossess underwater homes. The goal was to speed up the foreclosure process and clear out problematic inventory.
That hasn’t worked, with the most recently issued relevant statistics once again confirming Florida as the leader of the pack nationally in foreclosure activity.
And what is troubling to some is that foreclosure rates on home loans originating in 2014 are actually outpacing 2013-originated loans, which calls into question the depth and sustainability of an economic recovery.
Floridians who continue to experience debt-related problems involving their homes can explore options through consultation with an experienced debt-relief attorney.