While foreclosures in South Florida are not likely to slow anytime soon, the options for fighting or stopping foreclosure in Miami continue to improve.
The "robo-signing scandal," in which many of the nation's leading mortgage lenders were forced to halt foreclosures after admitting that employees and lawyers signing documents had done little or nothing to verify property ownership and accuracy of the foreclosure action, has left homeowners with improved chances of fighting for their rights. In some cases, a Miami foreclosure defense lawyer can fight a deficiency judgment. In other cases, you may be able to negotiate a monetary settlement or even fight to keep or reclaim your property.
Recently, the Miami Herald reported that lenders had actually increased the pace of home foreclosures and real estate auctions before the scandal. South Florida led the nation in the third quarter of 2010, with 59,064 homes in distress in the Miami metro area. That's up 24 percent from this summer and a 9 percent increase over the same period one year ago.
It was enough to rank the area 7th for the most foreclosures nationwide; locally, one in every 41 homes is in some form of foreclosure.
A representative of California-base RealtyTrac noted South Florida foreclosures are increasing even as foreclosures in other hard-hit areas seem to be on the decline. "In contrast to what we're seeing happening in the other foreclosure hotspots in Nevada,
California and Arizona, many of the metro areas in Florida are actually posting increases from a year ago,'' said Daren Blomquist. "Whereas the foreclosure activity in other areas is going down."
RealtyTrac's analysis included Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Figures show lenders had more than doubled the pace of foreclosures in Miami-Dade, taking 5,842 homes in the third quarter, compared to 2,032 during the same period a year ago. A total of 12,963 homes were claimed by banks in the three-county region.