Foreclosing on a home in Florida can take years

Foreclosing on a home in Florida can take years

Many Florida homeowners are likely well-aware that the state has struggled to recover from the housing market downturn several years ago. While many states have made nearly complete recoveries from the housing bust, many homes in Florida are still in foreclosure.

According to one report, approximately 10 percent of Florida homes were in a state of foreclosure at the end of 2012. This number put Florida at the top of the nation for foreclosure rates. In addition, foreclosing on a home in Florida takes longer than in many other states. One recent report stated that it took over 31 months after a loan was past due for a home's foreclosure process to be completed.

Experts suggest that Florida's recovery may be slower than some other states because it is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning that foreclosures must be approved in court as part of the foreclosure process. States that do not require court approval often have faster foreclosure processes.

As Florida's housing market is still recovering, it is very likely that homes will continue to enter into foreclosure. Homeowners who are having difficulty making mortgage payments or are stuck in an underwater mortgage may wonder whether foreclosure is their only option or how to approach the foreclosure process.

Since foreclosing on a home in Florida can take so long and is a serious decision, consulting a real estate attorney knowledgeable about the process could be very beneficial. It is possible that there alternative to foreclosure that could save one's home. For instance, loan modifications have allowed many homeowners to continue living in their homes while also managing their mortgage payments.

Source: USA Today, "States' foreclosure pace affects home prices," Julie Schmit, Feb. 16, 2013