Longer Bread Lines in Florida Due to Foreclosures

By: Joseph Smith

The long bread lines at Faith Lutheran Church in Lehigh Acres near Fort Myers, Florida are a painful indication of how grave the foreclosure crisis has affected the lives of many Americans. In many bank foreclosures in the area, homeowners are packing the basic things that they need and setting aside the more valuable items for sale in order to have some money for their children's needs.

Foreclosed homes in Fort Myers are being offered at 80 percent lower than their peak prices in 2005. Homes that were priced $322,300 in 2005 are now selling at $106,900. In Lehigh Acres, houses are being sold at $45,000, which is only about 30 percent of their building cost.

Jobs have also disappeared, as local home builders stop building, as small businesses close and as people leave their foreclosed houses. According to Lehigh Discount Furniture's owner Randy Burns, he receives a lot of calls selling him their furniture because they are leaving.

Lehigh Acres is one of many suburbs in Florida and across the nation that started with speculative investments. It is a farmland that was subdivided into 100,000 home lots sold over and over again until the housing market collapsed in 2007. Investments like these put Florida foreclosure rate among the three highest rates in the nation in 2008.

According to Joseph Whalen, head of the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, the community is struggling with its identity. Surely, an image of abandoned foreclosed properties can never attract job-creating private investments. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2007 to 2008, Lee County, where Lehigh Acres is located, had the highest job loss rate among all counties in the nation.

Perhaps because of its bleak condition and its long bread lines, Fort Myers was chosen by President Obama as the place to launch his economic recovery and foreclosure mitigation plan. Residents are surely thankful of the planned visit, but they are not putting their hopes up high. They might get disappointed.

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Joseph Smith has been educating buyers on the finer points of Florida Bank Foreclosures purchase at BankForeclosuresSale.com for over four years. Click here to visit and read more advice on finding Bank Foreclosures.

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