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RealtyTrac: Fla. leads in 3Q foreclosures

October 15, 2014

foreclosure_stampIRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 15, 2014 – In the third quarter, Florida once again had the highest state foreclosure rate – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – in the nation, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Still, Florida foreclosures declined both month-to-month and year-to-year, at 4 percent and 17 percent respectively. One in every 153 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing – a total of 58,589 Florida properties.

By metro area, Orlando, Atlantic City and Macon, Ga., posted the nation’s top metro foreclosure rates in the third quarter.

With one out of every 117 housing units facing a foreclosure filing in the third quarter, Orlando posted the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population of 200,000 or more. Orlando saw its foreclosure rate decline 1 percent since the second quarter, but it rose 16 percent year-to-year.

In Ocala and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, third quarter foreclosure activity decreased year-to-year. However, the two cities still posted the nation’s fourth and fifth highest overall metro foreclosure rates in the third quarter.

The remaining five metro areas with top 10 foreclosure rates were all in Florida:

* Miami at No. 6 (one in every 137 housing units with a foreclosure filing)
* Jacksonville at No. 7 (one in every 140 housing units)
* Tampa at No. 8 (one in every 148 housing units)
* Lakeland at No. 9 (one in every 158 housing units)
* Port St. Lucie at No. 10 (one in every 175 housing units).

Florida also remains one of the top states for the length of time it takes to complete a foreclosure, ranking second at 951 days. Only New Jersey (1,064 days) foreclosures take longer. Hawaii (937 days), New York (902 days) and Illinois (889 days) round out the top five states.

National foreclosures

Nationally, RealtyTrac reports that third quarter foreclosures were down 16 percent year-to-year but up 0.42 percent quarter-to-quarter. Looking at just September, U.S. foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the 48th consecutive month.

“September foreclosure activity was back to pre-housing bubble levels nationwide, in large part thanks to a continued slide in bank repossessions,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “However, a recent rise in scheduled foreclosure auctions in many markets across the country shows lenders are continuing to clean house of lingering delinquent loans. This rise in scheduled auctions foreshadows a corresponding rise in bank repossessions and auction sales to third party buyers in the coming months.”

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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Still no short sale tax forgiveness this year

October 15, 2014

Short-Sales-1024x855WASHINGTON – Oct. 15, 2014 – In a short sale, an owner sells his home for less than the amount stated on his mortgage, with the balance forgiven by the lender.

Last year, homeowners could move on after the sale. Any money forgiven by the bank could be forgotten.

This year, however, Congress has failed to extend the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act. If passed as it was in previous years, lawmakers would have made the law retroactive to Jan. 1, assuring all 2014 short sellers that they would not be taxed on mortgage money they never actually received.

This year, however, the story is different – so far. In January 2014, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and other practitioners expected a retroactive passage of the mortgage debt act because it generally had bipartisan support in Congress. In May, NAR and others felt the same way, but with a bit less assurance.

The law has still not passed Congress, however, and fewer observers are now sure that it will.

However, the November election may be a deciding factor. While little Congressional action is expected before Americans go to the polls, there is still a small window of time afterward when Congress could act.

For more information on the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, visit NAR’s “Mortgage Debt Cancellation Relief” page.

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Debt collectors can call years after a foreclosure

October 15, 2014

Cara-menghadapi-debt-collectorWASHINGTON – Oct. 15, 2014 – Thousands of Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure years ago have moved on and rebuilt their finances, only to find that their past problem isn’t staying in the past.

In more and more cases, mortgage lenders are contacting these homeowners and attempting to collect the debt forgiven as part of a short sale or foreclosure.

“Using a legal tool known as a ‘deficiency judgment,’ lenders can ensure that borrowers are haunted by these zombie-like debts for years, and sometimes decades, to come,” Reuters reports. (Effective July 1, 2013, the lender has one year on residential properties to initiate the process.)

“Before the housing bubble, banks often refrained from seeking deficiency judgments, which were seen as costly and an invitation for bad publicity. Some of the biggest banks still feel that way. But the housing crisis saddled lenders with more than $1 trillion of foreclosed loans, leading to unprecedented losses. Now, at least some large lenders want their money back, and they figure it’s the perfect time to pursue borrowers: many of those who went through foreclosure have gotten new jobs, paid off old debts and, in some cases, bought new homes.”

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae is one of the most aggressive in pursuing deficiency judgments. Of the 595,128 foreclosures the government-sponsored enterprise was involved in through owning or guaranteeing the loan, it has referred 293,134 to debt collectors for possible deficiency judgment, according to a report by the Inspector General, reflecting the time period from January 2010 through January 2012.

Some of the largest mortgage lenders – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co., and Citigroup – say they don’t usually pursue a deficiency judgment, but they do reserve the right to do so.

“We may pursue them on a case-by-case basis, looking at a variety of factors, including investor and mortgage insurer requirements, the financial status of the borrower, and the type of hardship,” says Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda.

Many borrowers may be surprised to learn that their years-old foreclosure isn’t really behind them. For example, former homeowner Danell Huthsing thought she was in the clear after a foreclosure in 2008 on a home she shared with her boyfriend. But this summer, she was served with a lawsuit demanding $91,000 for the amount of mortgage still unpaid after the home was foreclosed and sold.

Huthsing plans to appeal, but if she loses, the debt collector who filed the lawsuit will be able to freeze her bank account, garnish up to 25 percent of her wages, and seize her paid-off car, Reuters reports.

“For seven years, you think you’re good to go, that you’ve put this behind you,” said Huthsing. “Then wham, you get slapped to the floor again.”

Source: “Americans Face Post-Foreclosure Hell as Wages Garnished, Assets Seized,” Reuters (Oct. 14, 2014)

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JUST SOLD: Landmark Place in Countryside

October 7, 2014

JUST SOLD!
3205 LANDMARK DR. #3102
CLEARWATER, FL 33761
MLS#: U7707317

GetMeqdia.ashx

2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1,225 square feet: $89,900

Super nice GROUND FLOOR condo in the heart of Countryside! 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms with over 1,200 square feet. 1-car carport plus plenty of parking for guests. The AC is around 6 years old. Carpet installed in Sept. 2013! Screened patio has a wonderful view of the community swimming pool and spa. Master bedroom is quite large, bright and the master bathroom shower had brand new tile installed in Sept. of 2013. All appliances are staying including the washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave. Landmark Place is near Westfield mall which has tons of great restaurants, shopping and a newer movie theater. 2 pets allowed. Must be under 25lbs. No aggressive breeds.

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