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City Council Helps Contain Jacksonville Foreclosure Listings



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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
As properties in Jacksonville foreclosure listings continue to rise in number, the city council of Jacksonville proposed to use part of city contingency funds to restart the Project House-Hold office, which was closed in February due to lack of funds.

City officials are concerned because foreclosure activity continues to rise in the city despite federal and state efforts to cut down foreclosures.

In the first quarter this year, a total of 7,814 homes in the Jacksonville metro area were put into the foreclosure process, marking a jump of 1.2 percent from foreclosure postings in the first quarter last year. The total first quarter filings also meant that one foreclosure was filed for every 76 homes in the area.

According to the bill proposed by several council members, contingency funds amounting to $112,500 would be used to pay a bigger portion of the salaries of two lawyers from the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid who would staff the foreclosure prevention office for a year.

Council members argued that cutting down Jacksonville foreclosure listings is a profitable city investment as it helps keep residential properties on the local tax rolls. Additionally, it would also help prevent hardest-hit neighborhoods in the city, such as zip codes 32206, 32208, 32209, 32218 and 32244 from turning into blighted communities, worsening the city’s problems.

Jacksonville foreclosure activity has been following the statewide trend. The number of foreclosed homes for sale in Florida continued to rise in the first quarter, as bank repossessions increased to 8,643 units in March, a jump of 23.6 percent from the February REO count of 6,992 units and a substantial 40-percent increase from the 6,169 units repossessed in January.

Statewide foreclosure postings in March reached 59,067, marking a jump of more than 9 percent from the previous month and an increase of more than 25 percent from postings in March last year.

For the entire first quarter, statewide foreclosure postings jumped up by seven percent from the previous quarter to 153,540 filings, also marking a 29-percent increase from filings in the first quarter last year. All in all, a total of 22,050 were repossessed by mortgage lenders during the quarter, turning them into foreclosures for sale.

According to Jacksonville officials, Project House-Hold has been successful since its launching in 2008 to cut down Jacksonville foreclosure listings, so they believe that additional funding would continue to save a number of troubled homeowners.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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