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Today, the 2010 national foreclosure tallies were released by RealtyTrac — and the astounding total of over one million (1,000,000) homes being foreclosed by banks across the country is serious news.  The numbers just keep getting higher each year (see the graph for details at NPR’s site).

Granted, the foreclosure rush ebbed this fall; however, this was not due to banks no longer wanting to foreclose on homes.  No.  There was a lull brought about by the Foreclosure-Gate scandal, where financial institutions stopped (or were sometimes forced to stop by judicial mandate) going through the foreclosure process because things were being scrutinized by authorities and the better course was to delay things.

Will there be an upsurge in foreclosures in 2011?  Probably so.

RealtyTrac is predicting an upsurge in foreclosures this year — banks making up for lost time as they got their ducks in a row, procedurally.  2011 is expected to loom larger in the number of foreclosures than any year since the turn of this century (and indeed, might reflect Great Depression-era analogies).  Bloomberg reports expectations of a 20% increase this year as compared to 2010, with an estimated 5 million “seriously delinquent loans” currently not in foreclosure.

We’re already seeing the upsurge here in Florida.  In December, for example, foreclosure proceedings skyrocketed 240% over in Flagler.

What does this mean for homeowners at risk of losing their home to foreclosure?

Here in Florida, most banks already have more real estate listed on their financial statements than they would like.  Banks aren’t in the real estate business — they’re in the money lending business.  So, this news may help the savvy homeowner to renegotiate/modify their mortgage with their bank.

The key to mortgage negotiation with your financial institution is to be informed and knowledgeable both about their situation and yours, legally, financially and factually.  In some cases it may be better for you in the long run if the bank takes your home — but if you want to fight to save it, then there may be a silver lining in this cloud.

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