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Bank Foreclosures for Sale Made up 19% of Florida Filings

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Bank owned foreclosures for sale accounted for more than 19 percent of total foreclosure filings in Florida in April, a sharp increase from 14.63 percent in March.

A total of 9,259 homes in Florida were repossessed by banks in April, accounting for 19.14 percent of the 48,384 homes put into the foreclosure process during the month.

In March, a total of 8,643 units were bought back by banks, comprising 14.63 percent of the 59,067 homes put into foreclosure during the month.

Between the months of March and April, the number of REO homes in Florida increased by 7.13 percent, in stark contrast to the sharp decline of 18.09 percent in total filings over the same period.

The increase in number and percentage of REO units in bank owned property listings for April indicates that mortgage lenders have been stepping up the completion of their initial filings. Indeed, a number of housing and mortgage analysts favor the quick foreclosure of homes that can no longer be saved by their owners, so they can be resold to buyers that will occupy the properties or to investors that will improve or maintain them.

Even Florida judges who have been facing foreclosure cases every day of their working lives since the start of the housing downturn expressed the sentiment that accelerating the closure of foreclosure cases will ultimately help the housing sector.

The judges said that they give time for homeowners and their lawyers to save their homes in compliance with state foreclosure prevention programs, but they prefer speeding up the resolution of filings when there are no homeowners following up the cases.

In April, Florida posted the second-highest number of bank owned foreclosures for sale, second only to California. This ranking was not unexpected as there are almost 500,000 foreclosure cases currently filed in courts in Florida. A circuit judge in the state said that foreclosure cases probably account for 50 to 60 percent of their workload.

To help contain foreclosures in Florida, the state Supreme Court required mortgage lenders to hold conferences with their defaulting borrowers at the start of the foreclosure process and not towards the end. Judges and other advocates contend that court-mediated negotiations bring more positive results than voluntary mediation efforts.

Based on Treasury Department records, Florida posted the second biggest number of troubled mortgage loans that were modified into lower monthly payments under the Home Affordable Modification Program in April.

A total of 114,486 mortgage loans in Florida were put into trial and permanent mortgage modification in April, accounting for 12.3 percent of the total nationwide. As for the other data related to foreclosures by state, California posted the highest number, with a total of 198,382 modified mortgages.

A huge majority of the modifications in Florida occurred in the three metro areas occupying the top of Florida foreclosure charts over the past months Orlando, Tampa and Miami. These three accounted for 76,861 of the modified loans in April.

With the combined efforts of public and private entities in helping homeowners in Florida, it is hoped that the number of foreclosures for sale in the state will continue to decline.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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