A report released by Florida Realtors clears up the confusion by explaining the three different levels of foreclosure activity that analysts consider, and listing the state numbers for each during 2010.
"The Florida Foreclosure Report" found general confusion about the definition of foreclosure. One group might focus on the number of homeowners who received at least one notice of foreclosure and consider that "the number of homes in foreclosure." A second group might focus only on the number of homes actually taken over by a bank. But while the number of foreclosure notices could be rising, the number of homes actually taken over by a bank could be declining.
The report outlines three levels of foreclosure, which added together are the "foreclosure rate":
· Lis Pendens: Homes under Lis Pendens have received at least one foreclosure notice.
· Notice of foreclosure sale: Homes that received a notice have been scheduled for a foreclosure sale, but the homeowner may still find a way to keep the house.
· Real estate owned (REO): Bank-owned homes post-foreclosure.
In 2010, only 2,800 Florida properties made it through the foreclosure process to become REOs. Of the rest, 180,402 were Lis Pendens and 140,105 received a notice of foreclosure sale. However, the total number of homes in some phase of foreclosure - all three categories - comes out to 323,307 Florida households.
Other report highlights:
· In 2010, 1 in every 29 Florida housing units were in some phase of foreclosure. In 2008, it was only 1 in every 54.
· The top Florida counties for high foreclosure rates are, in order: Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Charlotte and Orange.
• The Florida counties for lowest foreclosure rates are, from least up: Taylor, Union, Jefferson, Lafayette and Liberty