The mortgage crisis affected many Florida families, with the market plummeting 10 years ago. Many residents lost their jobs and were unable to pay for their mortgages as their incomes were drastically cut. As a result, home foreclosure levels increased significantly. A recent article reflected on the impact these foreclosures had on the state.
Retired judges were brought in to address the staggering number of foreclosures filed. This so-called “rocket docket” saw the handling of almost 4,000 in a month. This led to thousands of houses being put on the market at once and caused the values of the homes to plummet.
To further complicate the issue, many homeowners were sued for the difference in their mortgage balance and the home value at the time of foreclosure. One company has filed over 10,000 lawsuits against former homeowners to recover these amounts. Some companies are even garnishing wages to recoup this money.
The Florida Realtors’ association reports that the housing market in the state is rebounding. For example, home median prices are up over 7 percent in Lee County, one of the hardest hit areas in the crisis. One county saw a focus on rehabilitating homes that had been abandoned. Rather than constructing new homes, the Collier County Habitat for Humanity organization has made an effort to repair homes that had fallen into disrepair after families were forced to leave them.
Though significant improvements have occurred in the mortgage industry in Florida, some residents may still face home foreclosure. To fight this process and try to remain in their homes, families should contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for assistance. A trusted lawyer will help clients understand all the options available to them and recommend a plan best suited to their specific needs.
Source: news-press.com, “Great Recession, 10 years later: Foreclosure crisis cut deeply in SWFL“, Bill Smith and Greg Stanley, Feb. 17, 2018