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Florida banks are fierce: in July, mortgage lenders took back over 6700 homes from Florida home owners in foreclosure actions. That is almost 40% more repossessions than this time last year (actual statistic is 38% increase) according to RealtyTrac.

National news coverage has banks and mortgage lenders across the country becoming more owner–friendly in negotiations and more willing to work with the home owner before going in and taking the real estate.  Not so in Florida.  Last month, Florida saw a new foreclosure lawsuit being filed for every 352 households.

Orlando Tops Florida Foreclosures in July 2012

The four counties that overlap in the Orlando metropolitan area were tallied together, to make Orlando the number one foreclosure hot spot in the entire state of Florida last month.  Banks are foreclosing swiftly, according to these numbers, as there is 1 lawsuit being filed in Orlando for every 293 Metro Orlando households.

Florida Real Estate Market Analysis – What’s Happening?

Last year, Broward County was in the top 10 list on’s metropolitan areas experiencing a housing recovery (“turnaround towns”).  This year, Broward County isn’t on the list.

The Sun Sentinel interviewed some local industry experts for their take on things, and among their answers was the sage wisdom of analyst Jack McCabe: underwater mortgages remain a big problem in Florida and each one of them remains at risk of going into foreclosure.  Until that underwater mortgage crisis is resolved, the South Florida housing market cannot be secure in any recovery.

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

Florida’s housing market is unique for many reasons and comparisons to what is happening in Washington State or Iowa or Vermont really can’t give a Florida home owner much information to go on in making a decision about what to do about his or her home.  For one thing, Florida is a state with a bottleneck of foreclosures already on file. This is because we are a state where banks are legally required to file a lawsuit before they can foreclose on a home and repossess it.   Right now, banks in Florida are having to decide how many more times they will file a lawsuit when they know that the courts are so far behind that it will take years, literally, for the court to reach that case.

On the other hand, there is pressure on these lenders to move things along and Florida lenders are aggressively moving forward on foreclosure actions.  Which means that savvy Florida home owners facing foreclosure need to get aggressive, too.  Foreclosure defenses need to be strategized.  Court cases like Pino and Liberty Bank need to be monitored.  (See our posts here and here for what those cases are about and how they may be of great help to Florida home owners.)

Planning Ahead to After the Foreclosure Is Important, Too

It’s never been more important than now for Florida home owners to fiercely fight back in Florida courts on every foreclosure action.  However, it’s also true that it’s wise for Florida home owners to also consider life after foreclosure or short sale.

There are lots of issues to consider in foreclosure defense, both inside the foreclosure itself and outside of it, like:

  • Where do you go? How do you find a new place to live?
  • Can you buy a home again?  Why or why not?
  • How long will you have to wait before you can buy another home?
  • Dealing with a Landlord: what are your rights as a tenant?
  • Credit issues: how bad will your credit be damaged and how can this be minimized or fixed?
  • Dealing with a tax bill – after December 31, 2012, will you have to pay tax on a deficiency?
  • What debt collection issues will you face before and after the foreclosure?
  • What about a deficiency judgment? Will the bank pursue one?

Do you have questions or comments?  Then please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at or (954) 458-8655.

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