As one of the hardest hit states by the deluge of foreclosures, Florida’s legal system is expected to be tied up for the next several years processing properties and resolving lawsuits over fraud. One legal expert is describing the devastation left behind as “Florida’s Category 5 foreclosure hurricane”.
Far Reaching Effects
Families are forced out of their homes and suffer further losses financially when attempting to relocate, find housing or secure new employment in an area where they were forced to relocate. However, the evicted homeowners aren’t the only ones impacted by the foreclosure crisis. When the problems hit in epidemic proportions like Florida, the damage can stretch far beyond the homeowner and their property.
When foreclosures sit unoccupied problems with criminal activity, loitering, and overgrowth of abandoned homes becomes the norm. Neighborhoods become crime ridden and property values suffer in the wake of a single foreclosure, let alone multiple properties within a short radius. The city is generally left to foot the bill for clean up and maintenance efforts, derailing city funds that could be used for other projects. With no one left to pay property taxes and the out of pocket expenses adding up, municipal budgets become stretched and vital services get cut.
Floridians are still burrowed from the foreclosure storm, afraid to emerge to evaluate the damage. State officials have been working to bring a sense of calm and recovery to the market, hoping to spur change in the system. Only time will tell if the cleanup efforts will be sufficient.