The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired Dec. 31. Florida may be one of the states that feels the hardest impact of that not being extended. After all, Florida has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. It has one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the nation as well.

The good news is that, in comparison to last year, many counties in 2013 were seeing roughly half as many homes in foreclosure as there were in 2012. There was even a decrease from month to month in 2013. Another good indication was that fewer of the total houses being sold were foreclosed homes; more buyers were purchasing homes for their true value.

While Florida still led the nation in the number of foreclosures, there are still signs of improvement. As many are quick to point out, much of the housing market is tied to the unemployment rate. People who are not employed can scarcely afford to buy a home. The fact is, though, the unemployment rate is better now than it has been, even in Florida, and people are looking to improve their lives.

While the banks are certainly being more careful about extending mortgages after the fiasco that took place in the market heyday, they are still looking to lend money. After all, lending money makes the market go around. Many Florida homeowners hopefully will have the opportunity to enjoy home ownership without having to go through home foreclosure now that the economy seems to be turning a corner. Should the situation call for it, however, there are options that homeowners might consider under state law that could offer relief — such as filing for bankruptcy.

Source: ocala.com, Foreclosure rate still high, but improving, Fred Hiers, Dec. 26, 2013