The newest foreclosure numbers are in from RealtyTrac, to give us a look at how local Florida counties are faring in the foreclosure crisis.
According to the California-based report, which tracks changes around the country, Indian River County is now the tenth highest rank in the state for the percentage of foreclosures, after experiencing a massive jump. Indian River County has seen a 108% increase since January of 2011.
Palm Beach County has seen some improvements, with a significant decrease since last month. Martin County's numbers have decreased some since December of 2011, but increased by almost 47% since last year at the same time. Saint Lucie County has dropped significantly in numbers of foreclosures overall since 2011.
Karen Marsh is trying to avoid becoming one of those numbers. She is seeking help from the law offices of W. Trent Steele.
"It's just beyond reality, you never thought that you'd be doing this at age fifty-something," she said.
In five years' time, she has faced surgery for a pre-cancerous condition on her face, the death of both of her parents and the failing health of her father-in-law who needed extensive care. Her father-in-law had to move in with Marsh and her husband in their small Royal Palm condominium.
"The house was very small for three people, one very sick," she said.
After selling her father-in-law's Miami home, the three relocated to a newly purchased foreclosed home in Port Saint Lucie, before they too faced a problem.
"We haven't made a payment on our property that's valued at $35,000 and we have a mortgage of $140,000 for three years," she said.
This, after Marsh says, she has tried and failed to work with the bank, use federal assistance, or get a short sale.
Not wanting to go down without a fight, Marsh is seeking help from Steele, who says the story is far from unusual. "I never indented to be a foreclosure expense lawyer, it just sort of happened," he said.
Steele sees homeowners from across Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.
"Last month was extraordinary the number of people that came into our office, it's probably the busiest month that I had in terms of the number of foreclosures," he said.
Living in Florida, Marsh has discovered, while many neighbors may sympathize with your fight against foreclosure, it is an issue that leaves you feeling very alone.
"It's just devastating, you have no sense of self-worth. It really takes a lot out of you," she said.
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