Increased Foreclosure Actions in Southwest Florida

Posted by Tim Ryan on Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 4:53pm.

Foreclosure is a common legal action especially in various residential communities where homes are sold for lease or through home loans. Real estate market has been performing low for the past years due to the poor economic condition of the country. While Naples real estate sales are starting to increase this year, foreclosures have also been increasing especially in Southwest Florida homes and communities.

According to a news article in, bank foreclosures have significantly increased in Collier County this year starting from the month of January with the month of August hitting the highest number of foreclosures at 295 overall only for that month. Last year for the same month, there were only 229 foreclosures based on the data provided by the Collier County Clerk’s office.

In the neihgboring county – Lee County also experienced high foreclosure rates hitting almost 799 for the month of August then lowering down a bit for the next four months. However, foreclosures spiked again in August reaching almost 701 foreclosures which is 518 higher compared to last year’s foreclosure number.

The Robo-Signing Fiasco

According to experts, the aggressive bank foreclosures are brought about by the robo-signing practices employed by banks to make the foreclosure procedures faster. Robo-signing is usually done by signing the documents for home loan applications without verifying the details or information provided in the documents. This practice has been a great controversy in the foreclosure industry since it was revealed last year. After the illegal practice finally came to light, a lot of major banks especially those who were alleged part of the controversy has halted their foreclosure actions in almost all states. These major banks were Ally Financial/GMAC, J.P. Morgan Chase, Well Fargo, and Bank of America.

A coalition of attorneys in various states is even initiating a probe in order to fully investigate the robo-signing debacle and in order to be able to penalize those who are accountable for the problem. According to the coalition, the involved banks may be hold accountable if they are proved that they made illegal foreclosure actions or have violated state foreclosures laws during their aggressive foreclosure actions.

Lower Nationwide Foreclosures

Although there were sizeable increase in foreclosure actions in various states, overall, the nationwide foreclosures this year has decreased 13% compared to last year according to the RealtyTrac report. Some states that pulled the foreclosure rates high are Florida and Illinois. Cape Coral-Fort Myers even ranked 14th in the list of highest foreclosure activity nationwide. According to the same article in Naples News, foreclosure-related filings in this county reached 1,255 in August – 40% higher compared to July rate but 8.6% lower compared to previous year for the same month.

Another major area in Southwest Florida with high foreclosure rank is the Naples-Marco Island which is ranked 49th overall. According to RealtyTac, there were 375 foreclosure-related filings in Naples-Marco Island. Lee County, being one of the largest counties in Southwest Florida, received almost 5,417 foreclosure filings and is even expected to increase more in the next two months if the slow pace of the foreclosure proceedings continues.

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