Vacant Foreclosed Homes Highest in Florida

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Vacant foreclosed homes highest in Florida

The number of foreclosed homes that have been abandoned by their owners is by far the highest in Florida with 55,503 properties sitting empty and in some stage of a bank takeover.

That’s 33 percent of the national total with Illinois coming second with 17,672 vacant and foreclosed homes.

In a recent report from the Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac, the firm also found that Florida accounted for 85 of the top 100 Zip codes in terms of total owner-vacated foreclosures, led by Zip code 34668 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

South Florida, including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties had the second highest number of vacant foreclosures of major metropolitan areas nationwide with 13,901.

Recent changes in some of Florida’s courts should start bringing those numbers down as undefended foreclosures are set for trial by judges and moved through the system. But the practice has been controversial with some foreclosure defense attorneys and homeowners concerned that defended foreclosures are also given short shrift.

Also, Florida’s new fast-track foreclosure bill might help get the vacant properties back onto the real estate market quicker if lenders are prepared to move forward with taking back the homes. Judges and defense attorneys often claim the banks are the ones dragging their feet on repossessing the homes.

Rest from the Palm Beach Post here…

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