The Real Deal Miami

South Florida foreclosure filings keep climbing with one out of 41 homes in trouble

By Alexander Britell | October 28, 2010 11:00AM

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach market led the nation in properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter, with 58,624, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

There was one foreclosure filing for every 41 housing units in that region, which was the seventh-highest rate in the United States.

According to Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac spokesperson, part of the reason for the South Florida increase was the amount of foreclosure delays.

“One thing that’s different in Florida is that it’s a judicial foreclosure state,” Blomquist said. “The courts [in Florida] have been overwhelmed. They even asked for more judges to handle foreclosure cases. That’s one issue that could have delayed a lot of the processing of these foreclosures.”

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area saw a 7.93 percent jump in the number of properties with foreclosure filings from the second quarter of this year, and a 28.26 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2009.  

In the top 20 metropolitan areas with the most foreclosure activity, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area was one of just five to post a year-over-year increase in the amount of foreclosure activity.

Palm Beach County also struggled.

“We just noticed in the third quarter that there was a big influx of notices of sale and REOs in Palm Beach County,” Blomquist said. “Especially the notices of sale really shot up and that really stood out.”

Nationwide, there were 930,437 properties with foreclosure filings, a 3.9 percent jump from the second quarter of the year, but a slight 0.79 percent decline in the number compared to the same quarter in 2009.

Several metropolitan areas in Florida had increases in foreclosure activity, Blomquist said, unlike other foreclosure hotspots like California, Arizona and Nevada, which were down from the same period in 2009. Those states are non-judicial foreclosures states.

In Florida, for example, the average time frame from the opening of a foreclosure case to completion was around 290 days, he said. In California, that number is just 211 days.

As for the high-profile foreclosure scandal involving alleged practices like robo-signing and signatures on foreclosure files without personal knowledge, Blomquist said his firm had not seen an immediate effect.

“We’ve been trying to track the numbers in October so far and we really, honestly, have not seen a huge impact in the numbers. The question right now is just how long the delay is going to last.”