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Southwest Florida Foreclosure Properties Up in 2008

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
The foreclosure properties crisis unleashed its force in Southwest Florida, making the area a wasteland of foreclosures in 2008.

According to the report released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, foreclosure properties dominated the Punta Gorda Metropolitan Statistical Area. The report noted that the area posted a default rate of 17.99 in December of last year.

The staggering default rate was made on loans guaranteed by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA). In Charlotte County, one out of five government-guaranteed mortgage loans are in default and in danger of becoming foreclosure properties.

There were 342 FHA loans in the county that were in default in December, representing a rise of 112 percent from the previous year.

The FHA guarantees, sponsors and insures mortgage loans through certified lenders. The agency provides opportunities for people to fund their properties with low down payment.

Meanwhile, out of the top 13 areas with high foreclosure properties rates in the country, four came from Southwest Florida, namely Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Sarasota-Bradenton and Naples.

The 810 total government-guaranteed loans in Sarasota that were in trouble in December 2008 represented a rise of 110 percent over 2007.

Bob Hebert, housing manager at Charlotte County, said that the area’s foreclosure properties rate did not surprise him, adding that it only makes the problem even bigger.

Statewide, Florida foreclosure properties filings in February of this year increased to about 4 percent from the previous month, and 43 percent over February of the previous year. The increase was attributed largely on the 158 percent year-over-year rise in foreclosure auction sale notices and the 128 percent year-over-year jump in repossessions.

The state posted the second highest foreclosure rate in the country, with a total of 46,391 foreclosed properties filings in February.

Meanwhile, officials in Charlotte County are hoping that the Florida Department of Community Affairs would approve a grant totaling $5.3 million to be used to help purchase foreclosed properties.

These foreclosed homes that the county plans to buy will be a part of the housing for families belonging in the low and middle income level.

Charlotte County is given 18 months starting this month to create a plan on how best to distribute the grant and address the unabated spread of foreclosure in the area.

Hebert explained that the county’s current problem is how to track accurately the number of properties in foreclosure. About 1,200 properties in the county are in pre-foreclosed stage.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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