foreclosure

Here's a headline that may sound familiar: Miami is in the middle of a condo boom.

Just seven years ago, Miami had a similar surge in condo construction. But it all came crashing down. There was an international banking crisis, and the Florida real estate bubble burst — taking down investors and many developers.

But new towers are once again reshaping the city's skyline.

Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant with Condo Vultures, says 19 condo towers are now in the works in Miami, with 7,000 total units.

A decade ago, speculators in Florida were pumping up a huge housing bubble.

"You couldn't go wrong," Tampa real estate attorney Charlie Hounchell says. In that overheated period from 2001 to 2006, "you could buy a house and make $100,000 a year later by selling it," he says.

But the party ended in 2007 and the hangover persists. The state now has the highest foreclosure rate in the country, beating out Nevada for the first time in five years.

Floridians Get More Money For Mortgage Assistance

Jan 28, 2013
Jordan Michael/WLRN

An additional $60 million in assistance from a national mortgage settlement is now available to Floridians who lost their homes due to unfair foreclosure practices.

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced how the money will be used.

Ten of the nation's major mortgage servicing companies, including household names such as Bank of America and Citibank, have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims that they abused some homeowners when they foreclosed on mortgages during the recent housing crisis, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency announced late Monday morning.

Florida's Mortgage Mess: There Is Hope

Jan 7, 2013
Robert Lyle /WLRN

With hundreds of thousands of homes already foreclosed in Florida--and eight percent of current mortgage holders delinquent--you’d think that thousands of people would be flocking to get help.

Yet when Wells Fargo Bank invited an average of 14,000 of its troubled mortgage holders to four Home Preservations Workshops it held across the state, fewer than 300 showed up each time. 

“People are scared, ” says Barry Zigas, housing policy director for the Consumers Federation of America.

Florida's Mortgage Mess: Options

Jan 4, 2013
Robert Lyle /WLRN

All this week, we've been looking at the continuing foreclosure crisis sure crisis in Florida. Today, we check in back in with one woman who fears losing her home.

While there are many federal, state and private bank programs to modify troubled mortgages, each requires the lender to agree.

Unlike the more than 260 lenders in Florida who are helping, Marla Popkin’s mortgage holder won’t. Popkin is an Occupational Therapist in Miami. Work is slow and she has come into some rough times. Now she's trying to save her home. 

Robert Lyle /WLRN

Florida pops to the top of the list anytime someone mentions home foreclosures.

The federal government and the major banks are trying to help people modify mortgages so they can stay in their homes. But those programs frequently come with caveats and conditions.

Jeff Turner /Flickr

For the last three months, Florida has led the nation in the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Since the start of the recession, the foreclosure crisis has been a horror story for the Sunshine State.

S. Florida Leads In Foreclosure, Delinquency

Dec 21, 2012

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area remains on the bleeding edge of the nation's still-critical foreclosure problem, according to new rankings from the Center for Housing Policy. It has, by far, the highest rate of  homes in foreclosure -- but the rest of the state is not far behind.

In the 13 metros with the highest percentages of homes in foreclosure, only one is not in Florida. It's number two.

401(K) 2012 /Flickr

Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that five of the country's biggest mortgage companies are forking over $3.6 billion dollars for "foreclosure abuses and unacceptable mortgage servicing practices," which spurred the state's foreclosure crisis.

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