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Surprising mortgage study details Florida real estate woes

Most Florida residents already understand that the state is in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. What they may not understand is just how bad the situation really is state-wide. A report put out by LPS Applied Analytics suggests that the mortgage foreclosure situation may be far worse than many people imagined.

According to the report, 56 percent of Florida homeowners that are in foreclosure have not been able to make a mortgage payment in two years or longer. This rate is above the national average (39 percent) and may also explain why some banks are now paying borrowers as much as $20,000 to execute a short sale. As of September, around 84 percent of Florida mortgage foreclosures are more than 18 months in arrears. In contrast, for January 2010, only about 19 percent of the state's foreclosures were 24 months or more delinquent.

In October, Bank of America started a new program that only applies to Florida homeowners. It gives homeowners up to $20,000 for a short sale rather than letting the homes linger in foreclosure limbo. In some other states, both Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase have similar short-sale programs. These are often known as cash for keys programs.

The simple truth is that Florida residents who are behind in their mortgage payments may wish to explore every option available to them. One way to discover what these options are is to seek experienced legal counsel. This type of consultation can be an eye-opener as to the real possibilities for those facing foreclosure.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "More than half of Florida homeowners in default are 2 years overdue," Kimberly Miller, Nov. 2, 2011

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