A new report from real estate services provider Zillow found that while Florida is not the worst state for negative equity. In fact, Florida’s borrowers have disproportionately high delinquency rates on their loans. In Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, 43.7% of borrowers are underwater, while 24.9% of them have missed at least three months of payments. In Tampa, where 46.6% are underwater, 17.6% haven’t made payments for three months. In Orlando, it’s 51.9% underwater and delinquency is up to 18.2%.
However, in Phoenix, where 51.6% of borrowers are underwater; only 8% are seriously delinquent. Or, in Atlanta, where 54.4% are underwater, but only 7.8% are seriously delinquent. Even in Las Vegas, where 68.5% of borrowers owe more than their home is worth, only 13.6% are 90-days delinquent.
Part of the answer could lie in foreclosure timelines. Florida is one of the four states that have an exclusively court-based foreclosure process. And, the state’s courts have been jammed with thousands of cases. As a result, the foreclosure process is taking longer than ever. So even if Florida has a similar rate of default to that of most other states, defaulters stay delinquent longer, so at any given time, there are more of them.
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