Florida Leads Nation In Foreclosure Numbers

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Panama City- While foreclosure rates have dropped across the nation, Florida has now taken the lead with the highest foreclosure numbers for the month of September.

Bay County's already had nearly as many foreclosures in 2012 as it had in all of 2011.

"They're definitely coming in this year. We still have basically a whole quarter left this year and still have a lot of foreclosure cases last year," said Bay County Clerk of Court, Bill Kinsaul.

Last year was a significant improvement over 2009 and 2010 when Bay County was hit the hardest, but Bill Kinsaul says that's because of some red tape banks had to go through.

"They had a moratorium on a lot of the Bank of America foreclosures. They put those on hold for a period of time."

So far, 2,600 households in Bay County have received foreclosure notices this year.

Michael Reiter, a Bankruptcy Attorney, says he's seen major changes in the types of people going under.

"People who had money and able to service their loans for a period of time are coming to where they're running out of money," said Reiter.

He says more developers are going into foreclosure on investment properties.

"There's a lot of water front lots that people wanted to develop four or five years ago and they've held onto those lots and they're still unable to develop," said Reiter.

He says more people are draining their retirement funds to keep up with payments, something Reither does not recommend.

One thing he does recommend is contacting your lender immediately if you feel you are heading towards foreclosure. Reiter suggests trying to work out a new financial plan.

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