Finance

Florida's Foreclosure Drop May, or May Not, Be Result of New Law

Foreclosures in Orlando —- and the rest of Florida — have dropped dramatically since the state started expediting them under a new law that took effect July 1.
September 12, 2013
 

Foreclosures in Orlando —- and the rest of Florida — have dropped dramatically since the state started expediting them under a new law that took effect July 1.

Compared with a year ago, the number of new foreclosure filings has been cut at least in half, new reports show. According to one of those reports, by RealtyTrac Inc., the number of houses in four-county Metro Orlando that got their first foreclosure notice in August dropped to 678 — a decrease of 63 percent from a year earlier.

A new statewide report from the Florida Supreme Court system shows the number of foreclosure cases filed in July fell 75 percent compared with July 2012.

It's uncertain whether the falloff in Florida foreclosures is tied to the new law, which was designed to streamline lenders' ability to repossess houses with overdue mortgage payments. Seminole County Chief Circuit Judge Alan Dickey said this week it will take at least six months to determine whether the decline in activity is at all tied to the law.

But foreclosure attorney Matthew Weidner, of St. Petersburg, said the dropoff has been caused by mortgage servicers and banks that have been unable to document that they control the loans — as required by the legislation.

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