Florida Foreclosure Hell: Number One in Nation for Second Straight Month.

The numbers are out, and Florida tops the nation for the second straight month in foreclosures. 

Broward numbers have been increasing for months, and in Palm Beach: "Our foreclosure caseload continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down," said County Clerk Sharon Bock. "That we've already exceeded the number of new cases filed in all of 2011 is proof of that."

What does this mean to you? Well, the Sentinel and Post are both reporting that it's not so grave, that repossessions and auctions are actually falling. But others are more wary: A site called Boca News Now calls the increase "staggering" and advises readers not to believe the "rosy picture" painted by realtors.

Also in Palm Beach County, the number of new mortgages dropped between September and October, according to the clerk's offices. This means people are neither buying as many houses nor refinancing as much. Of course, numbers are up from last year in the double digits, but unsteadiness would be a kind way to describe the mess. On the edge of a disaster would probably be more apt.

If you bought a house like I did in 2006 at the height of the damned bubble, you have seen the value drop by a full third -- unless you are one of the very rich -- because waterfront properties haven't seen so precipitous a drop.

Bottom line: The numbers may shrink, but we are still far ahead of second-place finisher Nevada, and with a new recession possibly on the way and the fiscal cliff looming, you'd be smart to start saving money now.

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