As the real estate market began to crumble around 2007, the Florida housing market took a big hit. In 2009, nearly 6 percent of the state’s “entire housing stock” was in foreclosure. While the market has improved slightly in the past two years, there are still “almost 40,000 properties in foreclosure. “Almost 30,000 more are in the short sale process … and “another 56,000 are in preforeclosures.”
Ralph De La Cruz of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that because of the giant number of foreclosure cases, the state hired former judges and used “expedited procedures” to get through the cases. “The judges ripped through their dockets, sometimes at a 1,000-case-per-day clip,” he writes. The center also determined the three communities that had “the most foreclosures per square mile”: Lehigh Acres, Davenport and Brickell Key.