Florida continues to take the top spot for Foreclosure filings. According to RealtyTrac, One out of every 434 homes in Florida are currently in the foreclosure process. The top five counties in Florida for foreclosure filings are in the following order, Flagler, Clay, Orange, Duval and Okeechobee. Finally, a break for the South Florida area for foreclosure filings!

While the Boca Raton area enjoys the lower foreclosure filings, there is a new trend, zombie foreclosures.

Q: “What is a zombie foreclosure?”

A: A zombie foreclosure is when the homeowner has decided to abandon or leave the premise while the property goes through foreclosure.

Typically, the foreclosure process, as the bank would hope, should only take approximately 120 days. However, due to the large backlog of foreclosure filings in all of Florida’s counties, the time frame is around 900 days. That is well over two years for a process that, before the housing crisis, would have been under a year.zombie foreclosure

Because of the large glut foreclosure filings, it has caused homes to be unoccupied while the home becomes legally owned by the bank or a new entity. Zombie foreclosures are bad for the neighborhood as they drive down home values.

Some homeowners become disgruntled during the foreclosure process. Due to the length of time it takes for a bank to obtain the property; the previous homeowner will have time to destroy the property before leaving. Stories of disgruntled homeowners range from placing cement in the plumbing fixtures to taking the copper wiring out of the walls. This, of course, leaves the property in shambles and hazardous as a zombie foreclosure. Some banks have implemented the “cash for keys” program to combat property destruction.

Cash for Keys is where the bank or lender will pay the homeowner to vacate the property. The homeowner will receive money in exchange for leaving the property quickly and in an acceptable condition.

Do you have questions about foreclosures? Do you need guidance with your foreclosure, let us know! We offer free consultations!

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