South Florida foreclosures begin picking up

After a long lull, South Florida foreclosure filings are beginning to pick up, despite another decrease last month.

The improvement is not readily apparent in the numbers, but upon closer examination, the rate of decline slowed considerably last month, according to data from RealtyTrac.

While the number of properties with foreclosure filings in South Florida fell 27 percent last month compared to November 2010, the November 2011 figure is a drastic reduction from a nearly 60 percent average drop each month since the summer, and 41 percent in October.

“I would say that’s a significant shift,” said RealtyTrac spokesperson Daren Blomquist. “We had a 14 percent nationwide year-over-year decrease in activity, and that was the lowest year-over-year decrease we’ve seen this year.”

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Statewide, Florida saw a 7 percent increase in initial default notices compared to November 2010, the first time in 20 months that the state had an increase in that number.

“That is another sign to me that the lenders are ramping up and processing some of those delayed foreclosures,” Blomquist said.

The foreclosure slowdown came in large part due to the freeze imposed by banks following the robo-signing and fraudulent document scandal of a year ago.  

There were a total of 9,157 properties with some form of foreclosure filing in South Florida last month, led by 4,044 properties in Miami-Dade County.

Broward County had 3,196 properties with foreclosure filings, and there were a total of 1,917 in Palm Beach.