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Reports show that the economy in Florida is improving. Unfortunately, the housing market in Florida is not due to the rate of foreclosures occurring in South Florida.

Experts say that Southern Florida could exceed 200,000 foreclosures in the first quarter of this year. Lenders repossessed one percent more properties in 2012 than they did in 2011, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Some experts think that foreclosures increased during the last few years in Florida due to the fact that fewer properties were foreclosed on during the start of the recession. In South Florida, roughly 30,500 properties were reposed in 2009 and about 26,250 properties were repossessed in 2008. Lenders repossessed far fewer properties during the beginning of the recession compared to now.

Foreclosures and short sales remain high in South Florida, with roughly 14 percent of condos and townhouses currently for sale in South Florida. Foreclosures have plagued the state and many homeowners in South Florida have fallen victim to being one of the thousands of homeowners to have their home repossessed by their lender.

There are options available for Florida homeowners facing foreclosure. Homeowners with debt and who have trouble making their mortgage payments may benefit from consulting a foreclosure defense attorney to consider available options. An attorney can help defend against a lender foreclosing on your home as well as provide counsel for mortgage modification issues.

Homeowners facing foreclosure should be aware of their rights and options available. The Fair Lending Act protects homeowners” rights and can help protect homeowners who are facing an improper or unfair foreclosure process.

Source: CBS Miami, “South Florida Foreclosures Higher in 2012 Than In 2011,” Jan. 11, 2013