Lakeland-Winter Haven has had the nation’s second-highest rate of new foreclosure filings among metro areas this year, according to a new analysis that finds the filings down from last year nationally but up significantly in Florida.

In Polk County, one in every 338 housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions. That puts us second among the top 220 metro areas to Atlantic City with one in 177.

For comparison, the rate in Florida was one in every 487 (fourth in the nation) and the national rate was one in every 836 nationally.

The Lakeland-Winter Haven rate of foreclosure filings represents a 62.05 percent increase over the first quarter of 2018, one of the highest in the nation, according to a chart presented by Florida Business Daily. It’s similar to the 60.98 percent increase in Ocala (12th in the U.S. in foreclosure filings) and the 60.08 percent increase in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (21st highest in foreclosure filings.)

Overall, foreclosure starts were up 65 percent in Florida over the first quarter last year, ATTOM Data Solutions reported.

Other Florida cities in the top 25 are Jacksonville (7), Pensacola (11), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (17), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (18).

Photo: “Foreclosure auction signs” by niallkennedy is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 


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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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