Foreclosure Filing Numbers Can Sometimes Be Deceptive
April marked a decrease in the foreclosure filings for Palm Beach County. Superficially, this may seem like positive news for the Florida housing market. However, in many cases, a lower amount of foreclosure filings can be an indication that the lenders are still dragging their feet in the foreclosure process, unwilling to take on the properties.
In Palm Beach County, the average foreclosure takes 2 years. That is double the national average, and many experts cite budget cuts and under-staffing as the reasons. Some foreclosure cases in Palm Beach county are more than 5 years old. Attempts have been made at legislation to require foreclosures to be completed in a certain amount of time; however, these attempts have been largely unsuccessful.
Federal incentives to prevent foreclosure are being implemented, and many judges are requiring explanations for slow foreclosures. Hopefully, with these steps in place, the backlog of foreclosures will begin to unclog, and real progress can be made in improving the south Florida housing market.