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South Florida real estate market rebounds, but foreclosures linger

A foreclosure is one of the most intimidating things that a Fort Lauderdale resident can go through. Millions of Americans have gone through foreclosure since the economic downturn in 2008, and many Broward County residents continue to face foreclosure every day. Broward County residents should not approach a foreclosure with a sense of hopelessness, however, because an experienced Florida real estate attorney can help a homeowner fight a foreclosure.

Defending a foreclosure can help a homeowner secure extra time to negotiate a loan modification that can help the homeowner stay in his or her home. The extra time can also allow a homeowner to explore the variety of options available, such as short sales, bankruptcy, or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Foreclosure filings in South Florida increased 52 percent in October, and bank repossessions doubled. The real estate research company RealtyTrac also reported that 200,000 South Florida homes were either seriously delinquent in payments or already in the foreclosure process. The rate of foreclosures in South Florida were triple the national average in September. Miami-Dade County's foreclosure rate was over 18 percent; Broward follows with 14.4 percent; and 12.91 percent of the homes in Palm Beach are in foreclosure. The national average is 3.48 percent.

The delinquency rate in South Florida is also far above the national average. Miami has a more than 25 percent 90-day delinquency rate. Broward has a 20.26 percent 90-day delinquency rate, and Palm Beach County has an 18.21 percent delinquency rate. The national average is slightly over 7 percent.

Source: Miami Herald, "South Florida home sales up, but pace is cooling," Toluse Olorunnipa, Nov. 21, 2011; South Florida Business Journal, "South Florida foreclosure rate three times higher than U.S.," Dec. 8, 2011

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