Local Foreclosures Up

A new report shows the Sunshine State leads the nation in home mortgages entering some stage of foreclosure.

More than 16,500 properties across the state of Florida began foreclosure proceedings in August, a 50 percent jump from July, and Bay County isn't an exception

According to realtytrac.com, home foreclosures ramped up this summer nationwide with more than 115,000 foreclosed properties.

More homeowners in Florida went into foreclosure last month than any other state.

From January to September 2005 there were 249 foreclosures filed in Bay County. So far this year there have been 336.

Homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages have been hammered by rising interest rates. And investors who couldn't flip their property, and homeowners who can't afford it are in a bind.

Real Estate attorney John Gioiello says with investors there is one common denominator. "A lot of what you're seeing now on the investor properties are, 'I bought more than I can afford to cover.'"

But all is not gloom. There are organizations and ways to help avoid and even get you out of foreclosure.

More than ever before lenders are helping delinquent homeowners work things out. Last year they were able to save the homes of more than half of the people facing foreclosure.