Home foreclosure actions increased in South Florida during the third quarter, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

The company tracks new foreclosure lawsuits, scheduled auctions, and home repossessions throughout the nation. There were 6,145 foreclosure actions in the tri-county area in the third quarter, a 15.1 percent increase from the second quarter of 2018 and a 5.6 percent increase from the third quarter of 2017. 

That comes as foreclosure filings declined nationwide in the third quarter, ATTOM found.

The biggest contributor to the growth in new foreclosure filings in South Florida was new lawsuits, as opposed to homes that were previously in foreclosure being seized. Foreclosure starts spiked 29 percent, year-over-year, in South Florida to total 3,208 in the third quarter.

The lingering impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017 might have caused some more foreclosures. In addition, people with adjustable-rate mortgages must make higher monthly payments as interest rates increase. 

“The biggest foreclosure risk in today’s housing market comes from natural disaster events such as the twin hurricanes of a year ago,” Daren Blomquist, senior VP at ATTOM. “Foreclosure starts spiked in the third quarter in many local markets impacted by those hurricanes. Secondarily, we are seeing relatively modest – but more widespread – foreclosure risk associated with FHA loans originated in 2014 and 2015.”

South Florida had one foreclosure filing for every 407 homes in the third quarter, the 16th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation. The highest foreclosure rate was once again in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with one foreclosure filing for every 152 homes. in Florida, Jacksonville, Lakeland and Tampa all had a higher foreclosure rate than South Florida. The Naples area, which took a harder hit from Hurricane Irma, had the 115th-highest foreclosure rate.

Original content SFBJ