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Here at year-end, let’s consider some numbers for the Miami-Dade and Broward County areas that are important to Florida home owners, including those in South Florida facing foreclosure or considering a short sale (also including those considering a strategic default because of a financial hardship or because they have an underwater mortgage);

According to the latest RealtyTrac Foreclosure Market Report:

38.9% is the amount of increase in foreclosure sales (home sales connected to foreclosure, including short sales as well as bank-owned homes being sold) in Broward County from the second quarter of 2012 to the third quarter;

43.9% is the amount of increase in foreclosure sales in Miami-Dade County from the second quarter of 2012 to the third quarter;

21.8’% is the jump in foreclosure sales in Miami from 2011 to 2012;

32.5% of the real estate sales in Miami in the 3rd quarter of 2012 were foreclosure sales;

25.2% of the real estate sales in Broward in the 3rd quarter of 2012 were foreclosure sales;

47% increase in the number of foreclosure sales from the second to the third quarter of 2012 statewide (all of Florida);

Florida short sales average a “short” or “deficiency” of $103,156; and

1 in 260 homes located in the area of Miami-FortLauderdale-Pompano Beach are in foreclosure.

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

Locally, the RealtyTrac numbers are still being considered and assessed – what do they mean for our community?

RealtyTrac vice-president CEO Daren Blomquist is quoted in the Miami Herald for his opinion that local banks are starting to sell more of the homes that have been sitting on their books; those homes that were foreclosed upon over the last few years.  Assuming that Blomquist is right and the REO (real estate owned) properties are hitting the local housing market, it doesn’t mean that the foreclosure backlog is thinning out anytime soon.

Florida foreclosure courts are still bottle-necked with plenty of foreclosure lawsuits. Florida Courts are not going to return to business-as-usual for (think back to 2004) for another couple of years.  We remain a judicial foreclosure state that doesn’t have enough courtrooms to handle the overflow.  There is pressure on the banks to get moving here in South Florida – they may have more homes in the foreclosure pipeline than they have REO assets sitting on their balance sheets.

Still, the truth is that foreclosure-linked sales jumped 47% in the third quarter from the second quarter and 16.9 % from the same time last year.  Banks are exhibiting behavior that suggests that borrowers will find a more agreeable tone and attitude from South Florida lenders as they try and resolve their distressed mortgages/underwater home loans with either a modification, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

The fights aren’t over — there will still be lawsuits and aggressive defenses by home owners and mortgage borrowers used against banks and mortgage lenders in the future.  However, deals in 2013 may come to the closing table faster than before and more transactions may get done next year than did this year – particularly if an experienced foreclosure defense attorney is involved.

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at, or (954) 458-8655. If you have a specific situation, please call or email Larry because he can’t answer specific fact questions in general comments. He’s happy to take your call.

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