Florida has ranked as one of the highest states in the nation when it comes to home foreclosure rates, including on homes that are dubbed “zombie” homes. The influx of homes in the midst of home foreclosure action has led to the increase in these so-called zombie homes. While these homes pose unique challenges and problems for both lenders and homeowners, the number of zombie homes in Florida has fallen recently.
According to the latest reports, the number of zombie homes fell by 46 percent. That number is a huge improvement over one year ago. As of the second quarter of 2015, there were 7,000 zombie homes in the midst of foreclosure. During the same quarter a year ago, that number was almost 15,300.
The problem zombie homes pose is that they are essentially abandoned. This brings down property values of surrounding homes, which can impact the overall housing market and recovery. The sheer volume of home foreclosures in Florida led to an overload of foreclosures and homeowners simply left the homes empty.
Now that the numbers are falling and home foreclosure action rates are less of a burden on the system, homeowners may be able to find alternative ways to deal with difficulties paying a mortgage rather than abandoning the home. Some folks in Florida may not have qualified or thought about bankruptcy as a means of dealing with debt and avoiding foreclosure. Now, those people may find that filing for bankruptcy can be a way of either staying in the home until brighter financial times occur or as a means of getting the fresh start they may need without creating more zombie homes in the process.
Source: Miami Herald, “”Zombie” foreclosures fall in South Florida”, Nicholas Nehamas, June 11, 2015