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South Florida reclaims dubious title: Top for foreclosures

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by Brian Bandell

Senior Reporter- South Florida Business Journal

Nov 13, 2014, 6:00am EST

Just when it seems the real estate economy in South Florida has turned the corner, RealtyTrac found that the region had the nation’s highest metro area foreclosure rate in October.

One out of every 363 housing units in the tri-county area had a foreclosure filing in October. Florida’s largest metro areas, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, were second, third and fourth nationally, in that order, to show that the Sunshine State hasn’t shaken its foreclosure misery.

RealtyTrac counts new lawsuits, judgments and repossessions as foreclosure filings. The company said banks typically ramp up foreclosures in October to avoid the holiday foreclosure moratoriums.

There were 6,789 foreclosure filings in South Florida in October, up 10.6 percent from September, but down 27.1 percent from October 2013.

“The backlog of delayed foreclosures continues to make its way through the pipeline, with many homeowners letting their homes fall into foreclosure when the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expired at the end of 2013,” Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Co. representing Southern Florida, said in a news release. “However, we are transitioning from a distressed market to a normal market. The 27 percent decline in the distressed numbers for South Florida confirms we are in the fourth quarter of the distressed game.”

Miami-Dade County had the highest foreclosure rate at one in every 271 homes. Broward was one in 363 and Palm Beach was one in 423.

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