Foreclosure filings are up in Lee County and all of SW Florida for that matter. Really? I thought all of the short sales were going to clear up the volume of distressed properties.
I guess more people are hurting than previously thought. How do we get a clear picture of what is really going on?
First, I would love to see an accurate number of properties that are not in distress, and by that, I mean where the mortgage payments are current. I would compare that to the total number of homes in SW Florida. This would provide more accurate data, which could be used to help our government make better decisions; of course, numbers can be manipulated, and we will probably never have an accurate accounting.
What I think would happen is that we would see that many homes are in distress because people are being told to stop making mortgage payments so that they can become eligible for modification. This is still so bizarre to me. A person who is underwater on a property is underwater whether the mortgage is current or behind (ninety days). Second, I would like to see the total number of short sales in SW Florida and know how many of these homes are over-occupied or rented. I hate to say it, but I think SW Florida is turning a rental community.
Third, I would like to know the number of people who left SW Florida because they couldn’t find work. Ultimately, those who left homes behind will see them going into foreclosure. If we had clearer, more accessible data on this subject, it would help us all begin to ask better questions which hopefully would lead to better answers. If SW Florida prospers, we all prosper.