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Stimulus Money to Close Foreclosures in Pinellas and Pasco Counties

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The Sixth Circuit Court is using federal stimulus money to hire case managers to work on the 33,000 foreclosure caseload in Pinellas and Pasco counties, which make up the Sixth Circuit Court.  Chief Judge J. THomas McGrady said the goal of hiring the case managers is to resolve at least 24,000 backlogged foreclosure cases in 2010.

The need for case managers is so the court can reduce its caseload and ease the burden on other litigation before the courts, since everyone is  entitled to his/her day in court.

The goal for these foreclosure cases is to schedule 100 summary judgment cases per day at each of the four Sixth Circuit courthouses.  Since the court convenes twice weekly, this could result in 800 cases a week coming to resolution.  Stimulus money is paying for the case managers and additional judges, such as retired judges certified by the Florida Supreme Courtto act for sitting judges when needed.

The sooner the backlog of foreclosures is cleared, the sooner the real estate recovery can begin. 

For more information on foreclosures or short sales, click here.

Foreclosure Mediation Program-Pinellas and Pasco

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Court Ordered Foreclosure Mediation Program-Good for Everyone

 

The 6th Judicial Circuit Court for Pinellas and Pasco Counties recently announced the launching of a foreclosure mediation program that is hopefully going to reduce the more than 33,000 foreclosure cases currently pending on the Court’s docket, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times.  Starting this week, the first week of July, homeowners entering the foreclosure mediation program can deal directly with their lender that can lead to a solution allowing them to keep their home.  The program requires that the lenders meet with the homeowner and a certified mediator to work out a payment plan.  Options might include a loan modification, extended loan terms or a short sale.  All of these are more desirable than an outright foreclosure.  The bank does not really want to foreclose and take possession of a home any more than a homeowner wants to be foreclosed.

The Foreclosure Mediation Program is a court ordered , official and COST-FREE program. The court ordered the mediation program so that using a professionally mediated process, foreclosures may be settled before going through the full foreclosure process.  This saves the courts time and resources that are in short supply.  The court's goal is to reduce the load on the system so that foreclosures are handled in mediation and other actions can get more of the courts focus.

To qualify, a foreclosure of a homesteaded property that is filed on or after July 1 will be subject to court ordered mediation unless the homeowner declines.  For foreclosures filed prior to July, mediation is voluntary.  Lenders do not need to participate in the voluntary process.

Under the new program from the 6th Circuit Court, lenders must cover the $750 mediation fee that can be added to a foreclosure action if resolution isn’t reached. 

Florida has the nation's third highest rate of foreclosure filings, with 1 in every 174 properties.

There are more than 33,000 current foreclosure cases in Pinellas-Pasco at the moment at various stages of progress.  Just this year there have been 3,100 new residential filings for foreclosure.  There will be many more foreclosures filed in the coming months, since the housing crisis is not anywhere near over.  Under this court ordered foreclosure mediation program, homeowners in Pinellas and Pasco counties have the opportunity to get professional mediation assistance and actually deal directly with their lenders, which has been very frustrating because until this program, banks have very often ignored their  borrowers.

Pinellas and Pasco Counties Real Estate Sales

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Despite all the doom and gloom over the real estate market, houses are selling in Pinellas and Pasco counties in Florida.  In Pinellas County, through June 26, there have been 3350 houses sold and there were also 1461 condos sold.

In Pasco County, FL, there have been 3232 houses sold and 220 condos sold in the same time frame.  It is necessary to keep in mind that Pinellas County is a vacation destination and has many more condos than does Pasco County.  Pinellas County has Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Sand Key, Indian Rocks Beach among many other vacation destinations.

With the good news, there is also a little less than good news as well.  The median home values in Pinellas County fell in 2009 to $153,000 from $167,000 in 2008.  In Pasco County the median house values in 2009 fell to $135,000 from $155,000 in 2008.  Prices seem to be dropping much more slowly than in previous months, so this could be a sign that the recovery is not too far away.  As interest rates begin to rise and housing prices are not in freefall any longer, this could be a great time to invest in that beach home in the Tampa Bay area that you have been dreaming about.  There really is value in this market.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908