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Fort-Lauderdale Home Foreclosures Bucked Florida Trend

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Fort-Lauderdale home foreclosures continued to climb up in January as job losses, negative equity and toxic mortgages combined to push homeowners into situations where they have no options other than to let their homes go into foreclosure.

In January this year, Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale is the county seat, posted the highest rate of foreclosure activity in Florida, with one housing unit out of every 105 homes in the county getting hit with a distressed filing.

A total of 7,677 households in Broward received foreclosure notices in January, up by 74 percent from January 2009. The number of default notices soared by more than 200 percent during the same period.

According to Fort Lauderdale lawyer Shari Olefson, who has been specializing in real estate, the supply of condo buildings overwhelmed demand in Broward, leading to a depression of condo values. She added that a lot of people used adjustable-rate mortgages to buy large houses and walked away when the loans readjusted to much higher rates.

Analysts like Greg McBride of also pointed to negative equity as a major cause of foreclosure. A real estate firm stated that 40 percent of owners of single-family homes in the counties of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade are underwater and many of them are expected to let their properties become foreclosure homes for sale if values fall further down.

In 2009, Fort-Lauderdale home foreclosures contributed substantially to the nearly 173,000 foreclosures posted by the entire metro area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. The total number represented more than seven percent of all households in the area and marked a 44-percent increase from filings in 2008 and an overwhelming 199-percent increase from 2007. The metro area posted the tenth highest rate of foreclosure last year.

In contrast to the rising foreclosure pace in Fort Lauderdale, the pace of home foreclosures in Florida slowed by 15 percent in January compared to the previous month. The number of filings, however, was still high at 47,069, compared to filings in other states. The number represented one household out of every 187 homes and put Florida fourth in foreclosure rate among states.

Based on records from the Florida Supreme Court, foreclosure cases filed in courts throughout the state in 2009 surged by about 8 percent to 398,825, with Miami and Fort-Lauderdale home foreclosures contributing substantially to the total number of filings. Miami-Dade courts received 63,522 cases while Broward County courts received 49,604 cases.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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