South Florida initial foreclosure filings hit 22-month high in August

The summer foreclosure processing lull appears to be over, as foreclosure filings in South Florida rose 49 percent from July to August, and 12 percent over the same period in 2011, according to a new report from foreclosure analytics firm RealtyTrac.

The biggest jump came for initial filings, the first step in the foreclosure process, which saw a 110 percent jump from July to August — and the single-highest initial filings total since November 2010, just before the robo-signing scandal that brought foreclosures to a halt.

There were 5,276 initial filings last month, up from 2,515 in July.

“It was a pretty substantial monthly increase in the tri-county area,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “There were a couple of months where the numbers had decreased, but now we’re seeing that that may not have been a long-term trend.”

There were an overall total of 9,238 properties with foreclosure filings in South Florida in August, after just 6,207 in July.

That was compared to a total of 8,193 filings in August 2011.

Nationally, foreclosure filings increased by 1 percent from July but fell by 15 percent from August 2011.

The sudden surge will not likely bring the region back to 2010 levels, however, when South Florida saw individual months with some 20,000 foreclosure filings.

“Banks are more constrained now,” Blomquist said. “I don’t think we’re going to see a return to the numbers we were seeing in 2009 and 2010. I think this trend will continue for the rest of this year, and then we will see a big increase in properties being taken back by the banks and REOs sometime next year.”