Growing Concerns Over Rising Foreclosure Filings in SWFL

Some homeowners may be receiving some of these foreclosure notices soon, as an increase in foreclosure filings have been reported by the Lee County Clerk’s Office.  Some of these cases were once dismissed due to incomplete or improper documentation, but have now been resubmitted and are causing some concern.

In last month’s report by RealtyTrac, Lee County had placed on 25th spot with the highest number of foreclosures for the state, with a ratio of one filing for every 45 household.  In the month before, the county was on 10th place with one filing for every 322 households.

One of the employees from the Lee County Clerk of Courts, Mr. Charlie Green has been closely reviewing the numbers of case for foreclosure filings.  As the employee reports, these numbers are double from last year’s records.

Yet, Mr. Green remains hopeful that some of the funding that the county receive can be used to work with the justices in clearing some of these cases  to avoid further back log.

Most of the notices are due to cases that have been refiled.  Initially, these cases were dismissed due to lack of proper documentation that was submitted by the lending companies.  This created the wrong expectations on the part of the homeowners who are in default with the idea that they would not need to go through the foreclosure process.

Another employee of the clerk office, Ms. Suzette Woodard, was also busy preparing the envelopes of notices to be sent to the current owners to advise them of the foreclosure proceedings.

Another real estate lawyer in the Lee County, Atty. Michael Hagen is not as concerned  as the local judicial system have already processed some of these cases but there some new filings which is also an indication that the county’s economy is still recovering.

Yet, despite this increase in the number of foreclosures, the numbers of short sales are helping slow down the rate of these filings.  Short sales have acted as safety net instead of homeowners and lenders going through the long processes of foreclosing a home.

For homeowners who would be receiving these notices, it is very important for them NOT to ignore these letters.  Acknowledge receipt of such notices and then coordinate with all parties involved in the proceedings.  It’s also advisable for owners to seek any housing assistance programs that their local governments may provide in resolving these matters.
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