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Sunshine State Leads Nation In Mortgage Woes

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Editor’s Note – With record unemployment in Florida, this news really should come as no surprise.  Of course, you’ll see little mention of this in the complicit maintream media, after all, we wouldn’t want to cast a negative reflection on the Obama administrations economic recovery plan now, would we?

And, what are our local representatives, Grayson and Kosmas, doing to assist Central Floridians in these challenging times? 

Well, Grayson is introducing silly named legislation to limit funding for our troops, or, when he’s not busy gaining favor with the far left wingnuts, he’s working hard to raise funds for his re-election.  Or am I being redundant?

As for Kosmas, someone should contact a local law enforcement agency and ask them to put out an All Points Bullentin, because she’s as scarce as Daniel Webster around these parts!

 

By Kimberly Miller
Palm Beach Post

One in five Florida homeowners is either seriously behind on a mortgage payment or in foreclosure as a dawdling economic recovery teases the Sunshine State.

The statistics – 14 percent in foreclosure plus nearly 7 percent who are 90 days or more late – put Florida in the top spot nationally for mortgage woe, according to a report Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Nevada was second with 19.6 percent of homeowners seriously late or facing imminent bank takeover between January and March.

“There is pain in the marketplace,” said Bob Green, vice president of lending for the Tropical Financial Credit Union and treasurer of the Palm Beach chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals. “As the recession deepened, people continued to lose jobs.”

Nationally, more than 10 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the first quarter of this year – a record high – up from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 9.1 percent a year earlier.

The national numbers are seasonally adjusted to take into account such factors as heating bills and holiday expenses that tend to push delinquencies up near the end of the year. Because many borrowers become current on their loans by spring, analysts said seasonal numbers should be considered with a “degree of caution.”

State numbers are not seasonally adjusted. And that’s where there’s a shred of good news.

The 11 percent of Florida homeowners who are at least 30 days behind on their mortgage payments is down from the end of 2009, when 12.6 percent were in that situation. Also, the 2.4 percent of mortgages that had foreclosure proceedings begin in the first quarter of this year remained unchanged from the end of 2009.

But the percentage of Florida loans in the foreclosure process has risen to 14 percent this year from 13.4 percent at the end of last year, and 10.5 percent from the same time in 2009.

Green is concerned that that number may increase as home values remain low and the taboo on foreclosure wanes.

“Foreclosure used to be a major embarrassment, but people are more willing to walk away now,” Green said. “People brag about it even.”

Jay Brinkman, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, said that while other “sand” states such as California have begun to show some overall improvement in loan delinquency rates, Florida has not.

“If mortgage delinquencies are not yet clearly improving, it also appears they are not getting worse,” Brinkman said. “However, a bad situation that is not getting worse is still bad.”

Some analysts on Wednesday pointed to the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable mortgage modification for slowing foreclosure filings, which held at about 1.2 percent nationwide between the end of 2009 and beginning of this year.

A Treasury Department report released Monday said 295,348 permanent modifications have been granted nationally, 36,130 of which were in Florida.

Coral Gables real estate attorney Rashmi Airan-Pace, however, said she has seen little improvement in modifications getting approved.

“So many of my clients have called me and said they dutifully paid their trial modification payments, sent in all the necessary documents to the bank, just to get a letter stating that they do not qualify for a permanent modification for some or the other bogus reason,” she said. “It’s very frustrating for me, as the attorney, and more so for these clients.”

Tom Tillison

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