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Threat of foreclosure still very real in some parts of Florida

The last few years have seen Florida's residential real estate market undergo a miraculous recovery. Indeed, the influx of qualified buyers looking to capitalize on record low housing prices in the wake of the recession coupled with improving economic conditions and rising wages has served to fuel demand and create greater overall stability in the housing sector.  

While the Sunshine State's residential real estate market is clearly back on firm footing, questions naturally arise as to how it's doing concerning foreclosures, which hit record highs during the recession, including an astounding 133,250 new cases here in South Florida in 2009.

According to a September report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate analytics firm, the number of new foreclosure cases fell by 16 percent across the nation and 4 percent here in Florida over the course of the last six months.

As encouraging as this is, consider also that the report found that the number of new foreclosures here in South Florida -- Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties -- rose by six percent from March through August, reaching 7,354 new cases versus the 6,934 new cases during the same time last year.

While it can be tempting to read this as a sign that South Florida is poised for another housing decline, experts indicate that these figures are actually well within the normal range when it comes to new foreclosure cases.

As to why the number of new foreclosure cases is leveling out overall, these same experts attribute it to the aforementioned improved economic conditions, as well as banks adopting stricter lending standards.

While it's heartening to see how far we've come in terms of foreclosures, it can't be overlooked that there are still many people facing the frightening prospect of losing their home. It's important for them to understand, however, that there are viable options for keeping their most cherished possession and that a skilled legal professional can help them explore these options.  

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