The slow housing market has pushed Florida's foreclosure rate to new highs in the third quarter, as thousands of mortgages continued to reset to higher monthly payments and even homeowners with fixed-rate loans had trouble selling in time to avoid foreclosure, according to an industry report.
In Miami-Dade County, 20,475 foreclosures have been filed -- roughly one of every 32 homes. That's up from 9,814 foreclosures filed in all of 2006, according to court data.In Broward County, 20,812 foreclosures have been filed -- that's about one of every 30 homes.
''There are too many foreclosures, but it's reality,'' said attorney Stuart Gitlitz, who has filed foreclosures on behalf of lenders for more than 20 years. ``It's all these loans that were refinanced during the last six years or so as interest rates came down, and stayed down.''
Aside from mortgage fraud, Gitlitz said, adjustable-rate loans ``are the single largest culprit of what is happening here because interest rates really haven't gone up.''
For the state, new foreclosures filed in the three months ending Sept. 30 for all types of mortgages rose 49 percent from the previous three months to 1.09 percent, up from .73 percent of all outstanding loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's quarterly delinquency survey.
Vanessa Arellano Doctor