• 20
  • May

A foreclosure can be a difficult experience for Tampa area residents. Typically, a Florida family that must undergo the foreclosure process is already under financial stress from debt or unemployment issues. A complicated or drawn out foreclosure can put additional pressure on these Florida families and strain relationships.

There are many ways that Tampa area residents can defend against foreclosures and remain in their homes. Many mortgage companies break the terms of their own mortgage contracts and these mistakes can be used by homeowners as defenses against a foreclosure. Many Florida residents may have to wait to bring their foreclosure defenses however because state lawmakers recently decided not to extend a court stipend targeted at reducing Florida's enormous foreclosure backlog.

The Palm Beach Post reports that there were 462,339 backlog foreclosure cases around Florida in June 2010. The special stipend poured funds into Florida courts for additional staff and helped reduce the foreclosure backlog by 139,615 cases. This means that over 300,000 foreclosure cases are still clogging the court system.

Many judges are temporarily canceling foreclosure cases because their courts simply cannot deal with the crippling amount of foreclosures. This gives homeowners more time to pursue short sales or negotiate loan modifications. The foreclosure backlog also means that many foreclosure-ridden housing developments will remain empty and abandoned for the foreseeable future.

Some legal experts worry that the backlog of foreclosures will make homes harder to sell in some communities. Abandoned homes may deteriorate and negatively impact the home values of surrounding pre-foreclosure properties, thus making these properties harder to sell.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "Fewer judges will be hearing Florida foreclosures as state money runs out," Kimberly Miller, 5/19/11