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Foreclosures up in May -- real estate market problems persist

Unfortunately, the bad news concerning the national housing market continues to flow, as the numbers for the month of May indicate that there was a 9 percent increase in the amount of foreclosure filings from just a month ago.

If it seems to South Florida residents that it has been years since anyone has had anything good to say about the housing market nationwide, that's because the situation for most homeowners with a mortgage is continuing in a sustained slump. Property values are falling while mortgage payments remain the same, and that means banks will proceed with the foreclosure process.

According to some of the same figures for May, bank repossessions also saw a sharp increase of 7 percent. This comes after the tantalizing tease of the April numbers, which saw bank repossession at a four-year low.

Some observers predict that these sharp increases are part of a much broader picture, in which a new, second wave of foreclosures will sweep the country, turning what are usually the best months for the real estate market into quite a bleak situation overall.

Various mortgage loan modification programs have popped up here and there, and Florida residents who are qualified to refinance their mortgage to a lower interest rate should look into that option as well.

Broward County has avoided some of the more recent housing market problems, as a local real estate rebound is taking place. But these recent numbers just go to show that not all homeowners in American are enjoying the comparatively sunny market in South Florida.

Source: CNN Money, "Foreclosures spike 9% in May," Les Christie, June 14, 2012

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