Make us your home page

Florida foreclosures increase in October

The foreclosure net expanded last month in Tampa Bay as banks scheduled more houses for courthouse auctions.

The bay area is not alone.

In Florida, lenders notified 10,655 homeowners that their houses will be sold on the courthouse steps, an 11-month high. Of those, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area recorded 4,193; Tampa Bay, 1,119; Orlando-Kissimmee, 1,093; and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, 441, according to a RealtyTrac report released today.

The auction uptick might be good news, in a sense. The housing market cannot recover until the foreclosure backlog is cleared. Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James in St. Petersburg, said the increase is no surprise since the economy is treading water.

"These problems will be with us for a while," he said. "There's still a lot of people who are underwater on their mortgages."

Nationally, filing activity rose more than 7 percent last month, but represented a decrease of about 31 percent from October 2010. Statewide, scheduled auctions and new default notices sparked Florida's foreclosure activity to jump more than 37 percent from September to October.

Overall, the number of bay area properties in some phase of the foreclosure process — a default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession — rose 33 percent in October, the report said.

Lenders delivered new notices to 2,147 bay area homeowners, second most in the state behind the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area with 4,762; Orlando-Kissimmee recorded 1,753.

Filings had dropped in eight of the last 10 months in the bay area. Last month's filings fell 59 percent from the bay area's peak of 9,294 filings in October 2010. Florida filings peaked at 59,514 in September 2010.

Earlier this year, experts had predicted that a second wave of foreclosures would hit Florida, following the collapse last fall of three huge law firms amid allegations of sloppy and fraudulent documentation, stalling thousands of cases. Now it appears lenders are clearing the backlog, but the numbers fluctuate monthly.

There is as much uncertainty surrounding the housing market as there is sunshine in Florida.

Attorney Chris Boss of Yesner & Boss said lenders and mortgage services are sending foreclosure work to many smaller law firms to prevent issues that plagued the megafirms. He isn't surprised by October's increase.

He added: "They're cleaning up cases and pushing new ones forward."

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at

October foreclosure filings


Percentage change from SeptemberPercentage change from October 2010
Tampa Bay3,84832.87-58.60

Florida foreclosures increase in October 11/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 7:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting


    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  2. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.
  3. Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance


    Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

  4. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows


    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.