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South Florida sees decline in zombie foreclosures

After the real estate bust in Florida a few years ago, some homeowners who were facing foreclosure opted instead to just abandon the property and move somewhere else. This created the so-called zombie foreclosure issue that faced many lenders in the state. Now, according to a recent report in the Daily Business Review, more homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes throughout the foreclosure process.

The report indicated a 46 percent decline in the number of zombie foreclosures on residential properties from the previous year. One attorney stated that this decrease was probably due to homeowners having better awareness and knowledge of the law regarding the foreclosure process. Typically, the process takes on average 2 ½ years to complete, during which time the current residents can remain in the home.

Purportedly, this increased awareness and lack of panic helps everyone involved. Banks and lenders do not have to pay to have the house and grounds maintained, and the current homeowners still have a home in which to live. The banks have discovered that it is in their best interest to work with the consumers during the foreclosure process with the promise that they will be able to recoup more of the value of the home later on if it is occupied and maintained properly.

Despite the reasons for the decline in zombie foreclosures, losing one's home due to financial difficulties can be stressful and emotional for the owners. However, current owners are typically not required to move until the foreclosure process has been completed and/or the house has been re-sold. Those who may be facing foreclosure or any other real estate dispute would need to consult with an experienced real estate attorney, who can best advise them of their options.

Source: Source: Daily Business Review, "RealtyTrac: Zombie Foreclosures Decline in South Florida," Samantha Joseph, July 13, 2015

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