One out of every 32 homes in Florida faced a foreclosure action last year, according to data recently released. The Sunshine State endured significant economic hardship during the recession and the housing market has been slow to recover. Last year’s foreclosure rate was the highest in the nation.

Realty Trac, a housing market tracking company, publishes data on foreclosures and analyzes the trends. According to their experts, the rate of foreclosures in Florida is still high, but past the peak and apparently on a downward trend. Distressed homes will remain a burden on the economy here, but many believe that the worst is behind us.

The number of foreclosures increased from 2011 but experts say that was due to a temporary break in the process while federal regulators investigated robo-signing and other misconduct by banks in the foreclosure process.

Eventually some mortgage lenders began to offer more loan modification options, since allowing a home go to into foreclosure is costly for both the bank and the borrower. Still, over 91,000 homes have been repossessed in Broward and Palm Beach counties alone since 2007.

As we discussed in our recent post, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been working to protect borrowers from unfair lending practices. The efforts of the CFPB also serve to keep borrowers more informed about their loans and their rights under the terms of the loans so that billing statements are easier to understand and increasing payments don’t come as a shock and hopefully make it easier to avoid foreclosure in the future.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Foreclosure rate in Florida leads the nation,” Paul Owers, Jan. 17, 2013.

More information about options for distressed borrowers is available on our Florida foreclosure page.