After ravaging the nation’s economy for over three years, the housing foreclosure crisis seems to be leveling off-at least for the rest of the nation. While homeowners on thin financial ice are proving more successful at holding on to their houses and avoiding the painful process of uprooting from a debt-ridden residence, Florida citizens continue to struggle with mortgage payments. What’s more, the situation may yet be worsening.

Latest studies show that housing foreclosures are slowing nationwide, down 16% from September 2011. Florida, however, remains deep underwater; statewide foreclosure is rising, up nearly 24% in the same period. A harrowing legal and financial situation, foreclosure is an issue that citizens statewide should bear in mind, regardless of age or tax bracket.

One 72-year-old Fort Lauderdale man has been skipped over by positive national trends, having spent the last two years doing his best to hold on to his home in the face of foreclosure. After his dry cleaning business went under, the Air Force veteran was left to rely on Social Security for income. Not long after, making his $2,800-a-month mortgage payments became impossible.

Now, after untold thousands in taxes and house payments, the man is left hoping his bank will agree to sell his house for far less than he owes. No response has come after numerous letters and calls asking for help, leaving him feeling “very abandoned.” What’s more, his record of a failed business and foreclosed home severely worsens the Floridian’s credit. Future ownership of another home may be out of his reach for at least three years.

As the housing market statewide continues to defy rosier national trends, it’s critical for Florida’s citizens to keep abreast of their own mortgages and the factors that can attribute to foreclosure. Working closely with a qualified attorney experienced in foreclosure and bankruptcy will help to guarantee the most positive legal and financial outcome, increasing your ability to keep your own home.

Source: CBS News, “Air Force veteran tries to hold on to his home,” Manuel Bojorque, Oct. 27, 2012