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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Florida Housing Market’

Foreclosure filings down by almost half – are we recovered?

The Palm Beach Post reported this week that foreclosures are down 49 percent from last year and 9 percent from January. For some, that’s a sign that the real estate industry has improved. But if you’re the person still going through a foreclosure, it likely doesn’t matter what the numbers say. When it’s your home in foreclosure, it doesn’t matter whether the rest of the economy has rebounded, it doesn’t matter whether the courts are clogged, and it doesn’t matter that others have “recovered.” The new numbers make it easy for the general public to believe that troubles are over for the housing industry. That would be naïve. Several other sets of numbers show a...

Foreclosures drop below 300,000 but properties remain in distress

So, for the first time since 2008, there are fewer than 300,000 foreclosures in Florida’s courts. The Palm Beach Post reported earlier this week that the number of cases statewide dipped to 299,055 in August, a dip attributed to the fast track foreclosure law that went into effect July1. But don’t let the name fool you. Nothing is moving fast under the new law. Banks, who were supposed to be able to use the new law to speed up foreclosures, have stalled filing new cases because of the new law’s provisions requiring that they attach an affidavit saying they possess the mortgage note when they file. They can’t comply. Some homeowners have been aided as judges push cases forward...

The double-edged sword of a foreclosure dismissal

Homeowners are facing a double-edged sword in the fallout from the fast-track foreclosure law passed during the 2012 legislative session. The fallout no doubt was not the vision Legislators had when they passed the law that was expected to hurry cases through the court system and help clear foreclosures from the landscape. Foreclosures have slowed to a trickle in South Florida because of the tougher standards for lenders to file cases. The law now requires that each lender attach an affidavit that says the lender holds the note in the case. Since the law took effect, foreclosure filings have dropped like a rock compared to the same period last year – filings were down 61 percent in Palm...

A win – but potentially a big loss for homeowners

A recent decision out of the 2nd District Court of Appeals shows that courts in Florida still are more concerned with expediency than the rule of law. The foreclosure case of Deborah Focht v. Wells Fargo resulted in the appeals court reversing Focht’s foreclosure in late September. As in countless foreclosures throughout the nation, this case was overturned on the issue of whether the bank had the right to foreclose – whether it had standing. And as in countless other foreclosures, the bank did not produce the promissory note that establishes standing until months after it had filed foreclosure. While the trial court ignored the defense, the appeals court reversed the case....

Weak jobs report underscores continued high foreclosure rates

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone looking for a job that the bulk of jobs available today won’t allow you to buy many big-ticket items, much less support a mortgage. The Labor Department’s jobs report for July 2013 underscored what job hunters are keenly aware of already. There were fewer jobs created than experts thought, and those being created are low-wage, often part-time work. Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Daily Ticker that 70 percent of the jobs created in the second quarter averaged $15 per hour. "Really we have become a nation of hamburger flippers, Wal-Mart sales associates, barmaids, checkout people...

Pushing the clog through the drain

The Florida House of Representatives approved the fast-track foreclosure bill this week, bringing it only a vote in the Senate away from reality. Stay tuned. The 2013 Legislative Session ends this week. The bill is expected to make it easier for banks to use “show cause” orders on non-homesteaded properties. In those cases, homeowners would have to prove why the judge shouldn’t enter an immediate foreclosure judgment if the bank’s paperwork is properly documented. But “properly documented” paperwork doesn’t prove that paperwork isn’t fraudulent, and the greatest harm is the removal for an owner to be able to examine and challenge the authenticity of that paperwork. The...

Emotional attachment to homes wanes, homeowners better able to make business decisions

Recently, another Korte & Wortman client received a modification on the mortgage of their Sarasota, Florida, home. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, agreed to a principal write-down of more than half – from a principal balance of $207,350 to $99,000. In addition, Ocwen agreed to lower the interest rate from 7.5 percent to 3.55 percent. Call it a win-win. The homeowner gets a new lower payment he can afford, and Ocwen gets a performing asset. If more lenders did the same – especially the big boys – there would be far fewer foreclosures, and perhaps Florida wouldn’t be ranked #1 in foreclosure filings. If lenders truly are interested in keeping people in their homes and having a...

Plethora of Florida foreclosures doesn’t mean abundant choices for home seekers

When the real estate market was at its peak in the mid 2000s, government leaders worried that many people such as teachers and firefighters were being squeezed out by rising home prices. No one would say today’s home prices rival those that sellers were getting in 2006 and 2007, but don’t be surprised to find those same people again feeling the squeeze – both in the home buying and in the rental market. Recently, Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac reported that Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one of every 117 houses showing a foreclosure filing in the third quarter. That data would seem to conflict with the area’s lack of housing inventory in certain...

Curious about the Foreclosure Assistance Deal?

If you are one of the homeowners receiving settlement funds from the national lawsuit against the five largest lenders in the United States, you probably have some questions. Therefore, here are some details on how the settlement money will be paid out and what you can do with it. Legal Claims and Your Settlement You will not need to prove that you have financial harm in order to receive your payment, and you do not have to worry about giving up your claim in any lawsuits against a mortgage servicer by accepting this money. Even if you are participating in another foreclosure claims process, you can still receive your payment in this settlement. That being said, the payment may be reduced...

Remodeled Foreclosures Finally Moving On

Everyone knows that Florida was hit hard by foreclosures. Most neighborhoods suffered greatly as those homes sat for months unmaintained and empty. In the Flagler County area of Palm Coast, however, federal money has been funded to help flip foreclosures and hopefully raise the property values of not only the foreclosed home, but the ones around it as well. These rehabilitated foreclosures are not hard to find if you know where to look. According to a recent CF News 13 article, RealtyTrac has kept tab on the foreclosed homes throughout Florida, including these rehabbed houses. In fact, as of today, there are over 1800 homes under foreclosure in Florida. As of right now, there is $4...
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