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Letter of the day: A closer look at foreclosures

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 1, 2008 09:59 PM

From reader M.L.:

Great column on foreclosures and quite accurate to boot. Thank God you and Thomas Sowell are getting the word out.

I’m a property attorney in Northwest Florida, the epicenter of the real estate “boom” and “bust” and from my ringside seat I can tell you predatory lending was not a factor. Buyers and Lenders were equally at fault for reasons you have already written about. But that’s not the why I am writing.

A large number of the foreclosures involve investment properties such as second home, beach condos, vacation cottages, raw land, residences for rent, etc. In the past year I have learned the details of some fifty or so foreclosures from prospective clients…Of these 50 or so foreclosures, only two involved a primary residence and one of those involves a genuine and unforseeable hardship…

From where I sit, most of the foreclosures are not the horrible tragedy portrayed in the press. People are not always losing their primary home. I admit that I live in the middle of a tourist
destination so my local perspective may not match that of the rest of the nation. But my point is that many of the foreclosure statistics are significantly inflated by the large number of foreclosures on investment properties. 48 of those 50 or so foreclosures I mentioned are investment properties and they are counted in the state and national foreclosure statistics bandied about in the press.

I am only a small lawyer with a small practice. If this is what I see, imagine what is going on in the rest of Florida. Florida is a leading foreclosure state right now and many, if not most, of these foreclosures do not involve primary residences yet these foreclosures inflate the doom and gloom numbers used to justify a political solution to an artificial crisis.

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