COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - A new report out Thursday shows foreclosures dropped 16 percent from this time last year, however, Florida still leads the nation in foreclosures.
Both Lee and Charlotte County saw double-digit declines in September, but it's a different story in Collier County where foreclosures were up 56.7 percent from August.
David Gallus, broker and owner of Premiere Plus Realty tells WINK News the spike in Collier County's foreclosures could actually be a result of the fact the county has more wealthy residents.
Naples Foreclosure Attorney Marc L. Shapiro says people everywhere are falling behind on payments, from Golden Gate Estates to wealthy gated communities.
"I think you'll see a steady stream of foreclosures," says Shapiro. "I think it will be steady for awhile."
Shapiro says there are numerous factors causing the spike including the "robo-signing" scandal that forced most major banks to stop foreclosing last year.
"When they stopped foreclosing they created a lag in the foreclosing from last year so now this year the moratorium is lifted, they start foreclosing again you not only have new people that defaulted but you have the people last year that defaulted that nothing was done about that so now you have all that coming at once," says Shapiro.
In September of 2012, Collier County a 591 foreclosures, up 57.6 percent from August 2012 and up 17.5 percent from September 2011.
So, why are Collier County foreclosures on the rise when neighboring counties are on the decline?
Gallus says one reason is the fact that Collier County residents have a higher income. He says Collier County residents were able to hold onto their homes longer than others in neighboring counties and are just now realizing they can't keep them any longer.
Gallus also says we could see a 17-20 percent inflation in home prices by the end of this year and while that's great for the seller, it ultimately could cause more foreclosures. That's because increasing home value will increase property taxes, making it more difficult for those already struggling to keep their homes.
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