Home values reached all-time highs in the years before the Great Recession. In 2008, the housing crisis affected many people all across the country, including many in Florida.
Many people lost their homes to foreclosure. However, it was later discovered that a number of banks were engaging in unsavory practices such as "robo-signing" in which documents were signed off without anyone reading them over.
In February 2012, attorney generals from many different states reached a $25 billion settlement with some of the country's largest banks that were guilty of engaging in unethical behavior.
Florida was given $334 million as a result of the settlement. Just recently, lawmakers finally determined how $200 million of that money will be spent. Some of the money will reportedly be used to help the elderly, those who are homeless and those with developmental disabilities pay for housing. Some of the money will also be put towards Habitat for Humanity.
People's home are usually incredibly important to them. Losing a home to foreclosure is a scary thought for a lot of people. Unfortunately, as readers of this blog may recall from a previous blog post, Florida had the highest foreclosure rate compared to any other state in the country during the first quarter of this year.
People who are concerned about a looming foreclosure should take action. It is often best to speak with an experienced legal professional to determine what steps can be taken to avoid foreclosure. With the right help, Florida homeowners may be able to keep their home.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Fla. lawmakers approve bank settlement," James L. Rosica and Gary Fineout, May 1, 2013