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News Release

December, Year-End Foreclosure Stats Available From Clerk & Comptroller

New foreclosure filings down 37 percent in 2010, but sales cancellation rate and workload still high

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (January 12, 2011) – Palm Beach County saw fewer foreclosures filed in 2010 compared with 2009, marking the first year-over-year drop in foreclosure filings in five years, according to the latest figures available from the Clerk & Comptroller’s office.

There were 19,840 foreclosure cases filed in 2010, down from 31,678 in 2009, according to Clerk’s office statistics. That’s a 37.37-percent decrease from 2009 to 2010.

The number of initial foreclosure filings in December was up slightly, with 872 cases filed in December. That’s a 9.41-percent increase from the 797 cases filed in November, but represents a 68.58-percent decrease from the 2,775 cases filed in December 2009.

But the decline in filings does not mean less work for the Clerk’s office, as foreclosure sale cancellations continue at a higher-than-average rate. “Foreclosure cancellations have a significant impact on our workload, because we have to do a great deal of work over again,” said Clerk Sharon Bock. “We have to reprocess hundreds of cases where sales were canceled and then rescheduled.”

Foreclosure Auction Sales Cancellations

The Clerk’s office saw an increased percentage of canceled foreclosure sales in December. The cancellation rate of scheduled foreclosure sales auctions was 48.59 percent, or 1,087 sales cancelled.  The average cancellation rate is around 30 percent.

In November, there were 1,168 sales cancelled, or 45.61 percent, according to Clerk’s office statistics. The average cancellation rate for 2010 was 36.06 percent.

Foreclosure Sales Results

Though the number of scheduled foreclosure sale cancellations remains high, 1,150 properties sold in the Clerk’s online foreclosure auctions during December. Of those properties, 980 were sold back to the plaintiff in the foreclosure proceeding – typically a bank or mortgage company – while 170 were sold to third-party bidders, according to sales statistics from Grant Street Group, which facilitates the Clerk’s office online foreclosure auctions.

There were 12,385 foreclosed properties sold via online auction in 2010, according to Grant Street.

The Clerk & Comptroller’s office processes all foreclosure-related court documents, notices of action and motions. After a foreclosure judgment, the office issues a notice of sale, conducts the foreclosure auction and issues all post-sale documents, such as the certificate of title. Palm Beach County’s foreclosed properties are auctioned five days a week online at www.mypalmbeachclerk.clerkauction.com.

For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents.  In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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