Make us your home page

Florida, U.S. on track for record year of foreclosures

Talk about a painful housing recovery.

Even as foreclosure filings have slowed, the nation's still on track for a record 1 million home­owners to lose their homes this year as banks clear a backlog of problem properties.

For Floridians, there's more: The state outpaced Arizona in the most recent monthly data, becoming the second-worst foreclosure market in the country behind Nevada. More than 3 percent of Florida homeowners, or roughly one out of every 32, has received a foreclosure filing sometime this year. The number of bank repossessions in the Tampa Bay area in June jumped 43 percent compared with a year ago.

The sorry statistics are included in a wide-ranging midyear report Thursday from California real estate firm RealtyTrac and raise concerns that the housing market is still on shaky ground.

"The midyear numbers put us on pace (nationwide) to exceed 3 million properties with foreclosure filings by the end of the year, and more than 1 million bank repossessions," RealtyTrac chief executive James J. Saccacio said.

Saccacio called the second quarter "a tale of two trends." The pace of properties entering foreclosure slowed because of more aggressive attempts at short sales and loan modifications. At the same time, lenders cleared a huge backlog of distressed inventory resulting from failed loan modifications in 2009.

As a result, nationwide there were more than 1.9 million foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — in the first half of the year. That's down 5 percent from the beginning of 2010 but up 8 percent from a year ago.

Florida ranked third-highest in foreclosures behind Nevada and Arizona, based on the second quarter data and the first six months of the year. For the month of June, however, Florida ranked second.

There were 277,073 filings in Florida in the first half of the year, up 3 percent compared with a year ago, but down 9 percent from the beginning of the year.

One out of every 170 Florida households received a foreclosure filing in June. With 2,638 filings in Hillsborough and 2,449 filings in Pinellas, the two ranked fifth and sixth highest, respectively, among Florida counties.

Particularly troubling are the number of bank repossessions, which hit another record high nationally in the second quarter.

Lenders took back 1,117 homes in the Tampa Bay area in June, up 26 percent from May and up 43 percent from a year ago.

St. Petersburg attorney Charles R. Gallagher III, who is representing borrowers in more than 300 active foreclosure litigations, doesn't see the surge of activity ending anytime soon.

He cites a couple of key reasons: only a small fraction of loan modification requests are being approved, let alone proving successful beyond the trial stage; and another wave of adjustable rate mortgages are resetting to higher rates within the next two years.

Lenders have made a dent in reducing the high inventory of foreclosed homes in the area, Gallagher said, but the process is painful and slow.

"We're through the absolute worst," he added, "but I think we have two more full years of this left (as) it progressively gets better."

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242.

Florida, U.S. on track for record year of foreclosures 07/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data


    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]