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News Release


Change in state law contributes to steep decline in foreclosure filings

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (August 14, 2013) – The number of new foreclosure case filings in Palm Beach County decreased dramatically in July. Clerk Sharon Bock attributes this to a new state law (Section 702.015, Florida Statutes) which requires plaintiffs to acknowledge in their foreclosure complaint that they have all the documents necessary to prove the case against the homeowner.

There were 387 new foreclosures in July, a 61.3 percent decrease from 1,001 new foreclosures in June, and a 68.3 percent decrease from 1,220 cases filed in July 2012. The new cases filed in July represent the lowest number of new foreclosures filed with the Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County, since July 2006, when 392 foreclosures were filed.

The new foreclosure filing requirements took effect July 1, 2013.

“This new law presumably has had a substantial effect on new foreclosure cases filed in Palm Beach County as well as the state of Florida,” Clerk Bock said. “It’s too soon to say whether we’ll continue to see declining filings in the courts. However, this demonstrates that banks are acting with an abundance of caution before they bring forward foreclosures cases in Florida.”

Mortgages/Deeds Recorded

The number of new mortgages and deeds recorded in Palm Beach County during July remained higher compared with the previous year, but lower than the totals recorded in June.

There were 6,985 deeds recorded in Palm Beach County in July, down 7.5 percent from 7,548 deeds recorded in June, but up 44.7 percent from 4,828 deeds recorded in July 2012.

There also were 4,358 mortgages recorded in July, a 17.7 percent decrease from 5,294 mortgages recorded in June, but a 40.4 percent increase from 3,105 mortgages recorded in July 2012.

The Clerk’s office is the keeper of Palm Beach County’s official records, and records all deeds and mortgages submitted for recording in Palm Beach County.

Foreclosure Sales Results

There were 1,050 properties sold during July’s online foreclosure auctions, according to statistics from Grant Street Group, the facilitator of ClerkAuction®. Of those, 799 were sold back to the plaintiff – typically a bank or mortgage company – in the foreclosure proceeding, and 251 were sold to a third party. 

There were 579 sales canceled in July, out of 1,629 advertised for sale. The cancellation rate was 35.5 percent, compared with 34.3 percent in June.

The Clerk & Comptroller’s office processes all foreclosure-related court documents, notices of action and motions. After a foreclosure judgment, the office conducts the foreclosure auction and issues all post-sale documents, such as the certificate of title.  Information about foreclosures, updates about when certificates of title will be issued and links to auctions of Palm Beach County’s foreclosed properties are available at www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.

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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