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In July 2013, Florida had the highest rate of foreclosure filings in the nation with more one in every 328 housing units receiving a filing. While 28 percent of initial default notices were from last year, the number of foreclosure filings is still triple the national rate and 6.8 percent higher than the foreclosure rate in July 2012.

According to RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure rates and activities, the rate of filings in the state was driven by scheduled foreclosure auctions, which increased 74 percent. In addition, Florida’s realty market also saw a 13 percent bank repossessions hike.

In addition to the highest national rate, Florida is also home to nine of the top 10 cities with the highest foreclosure rates. For example, Jacksonville had the highest rate with 230 housing units being foreclosed upon, a 24 percent increase over July 2012. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area had one housing unit per 250 housing units foreclosed upon, Port St. Lucie had one filing per 256 housing units and Ocala had one filing per 294 housing units. Other cities that made the list include the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, Orlando, Pensacola and Sarasota. The only non-Florida city to make the list was Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For most people, the home is one of the biggest financial assets that they own and losing it to foreclosure can have a devastating effect. An experienced Florida attorney may be able to help their client defend against foreclosure or find other alternatives. For example, the attorney may advise their client to sell the home or utilize a short sale option. The attorney may also be able to help their client file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or create a Chapter 13 payment plan.

Source: The Florida Current, “Florida remains national foreclosure leader in July, but initial proceedings down“, Gray Rohrer, August 15, 2013