Despite decline, Tampa leads big cities in foreclosures

A recent report on national foreclosure statistics paints an improving, but still unfortunate, picture for Tampa, Florida, homeowners.

First, the good news. The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has seen a 23 percent decline in home foreclosures in the past year — one of the largest decreases among large U.S. cities.

Now, the bad news. Despite this decline, Tampa’s foreclosure rate is still the highest among the 20 largest metro areas. The rate stands at one in every 527 homes in the bay area, according to RealtyTrac. This applies to all homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.

Another wrinkle in the foreclosure data is that bank repossessions accelerated in most states in August. Repossessions, which conclude the foreclosure process, are on the rise as lenders finally make headway in clearing the huge backlog of foreclosures that piled up in the wake of the housing bust. While this increase is actually a sign of finally putting that turmoil behind us, it will serve as little comfort to those who are losing their homes. In August, bank repossessions in Florida increased 23 percent year-over-year.

If you face an unpayable debt, consult a bankruptcy attorney. Filing bankruptcy will not wipe out your home mortgage, but it will halt the foreclosure process and give you time to make a new plan.

O. Reginald (“Reggie”) Osenton is the Owner and President of Osenton Law Office If you need a Brandon bankruptcy lawyer, attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit