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Florida CFO Happy About Summit to Trim Foreclosure Properties

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Despite the inability of lenders and volunteer lawyers to come out with solutions to some problems presented, the summit held by Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to reduce foreclosure properties across the state resulted in a major achievement: the lenders agreed to appoint a person to negotiate with troubled homeowners under the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes initiative. The lenders also agreed to appoint an individual who can bargain with the volunteer lawyers.

CFO Sink has just held a roundtable discussion called Protecting Florida Homeowners in Tampa, involving mortgage lenders and volunteer lawyers who are members of the FASH group. Sink wanted to facilitate the work of FASH lawyers in reducing the number of foreclosure properties in Florida.

Based on RealtyTracís foreclosure data for March 2009, Florida foreclosures are still soaring, putting the state in second place in number of foreclosure properties and fourth place in foreclosure rates in the month of March and in the first quarter.

In March, Florida had a total of 47,131 housing units receiving default notices, with 26,964 units receiving lis pendens; 13,566 receiving notices of foreclosure sale and 6,601 becoming foreclosure properties.

In the first quarter of this year, Florida had a total of 119,220 units that received default notices; with 70,114 units getting lis pendens; 33,035 getting notices of foreclosures sale; 183 units getting notices of trustee sale; and 15,888 foreclosure properties added to bank REO properties. The state had 1 housing unit in every 73 units getting a foreclosure filing.

Jennifer Newton said FASH represents about 1,000 pro bono attorneys across the state who are working to help homeowners keep their homes from becoming foreclosure properties.

Kent Spuhler, head of Florida Rural Legal Services, said one of the major problems faced by his group is the difficulty in identifying which mortgage company to negotiate with. Oftentimes, he said, the mortgage bank is just holding a mortgage loan owned by an investor.

Meanwhile, Brian Spaulding, executive of Loss Mitigation Services said it has not been easy getting banks to modify loans until homeowners have been behind in payments for at least 3 months.

IndyMac Bankís first vice president Elizabeth Baumeister said IndyMac will give the volunteer lawyers a list of steps that they can follow to work with IndyMac. She added the lawyers need to work fast to prevent distressed homes from becoming foreclosure properties.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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