As all of us in Florida are all too aware, our state has been hit particularly hard by the slump in housing market. In many neighborhoods in Central Florida the wave of foreclosures can feel like a plague, as one house and then another on the street is struck. There is often a familiar cycle of an attempt to refinance, then an attempted sale, then an attempted short sale with all of the potential complications and delays for bank approval.

While every situation is unique, a family facing foreclosure is certainly not alone. A recent report from RealtyTrac says that the number of Florida homes receiving an initial default notices jumped 28 percent from September to October. The number of foreclosures in Florida went up more than 35 percent.

There would be nothing better than if the market made a sudden and dramatic rebound and those that are underwater suddenly found themselves flush with equity. Some individuals wait for this scenario every day, even as the notices and collection calls arrive. Fortunately, there are other options.

It is possible to take a proactive approach to your financial life, even when you feel like you are not operating from a position of strength. Bankruptcy is intended to allow for an orderly reorganization of your debts and can stop, at least temporarily, a foreclosure action against you. Depending on your financial situation and the type of bankruptcy filing, you may then be able to catch up on your payments and keep your home.

Source: USA Today “Foreclosure activity hit 7-month high in Oct.” ALEX VEIGA, Nov. 10, 2011