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Foreclosure rates reach a six-year low

News for Florida's housing market, down in the dumps for many years during and after the Great Recession, continues to improve. Thanks to a more stable economy and an increase of loan modification applications, national foreclosure rates have reached their lowest levels in six years.

According to real estate market watcher RealtyTrac, April saw a significant decrease in foreclosure notifications. With one in every 905 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the rate was down almost one-quarter from a year ago and the lowest since February 2007 - just before the foreclosure crisis began.

Some states have seen greater drops in foreclosure rates while others have seen an increase due to legal changes. In California, filings dropped 90 percent earlier this year when a new rule prevented lenders from foreclosing on home units in the midst of a loan modification. In Florida, one of the hardest hit states during the foreclosure crisis, court-approved auctions were up 55 percent. However, this may be due to the earlier slowdown of process filings after allegations were made that the courts were moving foreclosures through without proper oversight.

Foreclosures can be tough both financially and emotionally on home owners. It can cost thousands of dollars to find a new residence as well as pay-off any remaining balance the lender couldn't collect during a foreclosure auction. In addition, the home owner's credit can be severely damaged, resulting in problems if they need to acquire another loan. Bankruptcy attorneys in Florida can assist those in foreclosure, providing them with options and making sure the lender is following the proper procedures, including the verification and processing of their home loan modifications.

Source: USA Today, "Foreclosure activity reaches 6-year low", Julie Schmit, May 09, 2013

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