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Foreclosure's ripple effects can last for years

It goes without saying that foreclosure is generally something that should be avoided if at all possible. Whatever your reasons for getting to the point where you could lose your home -- excessive credit card debt, the fallout from a divorce, or the loss of a job -- in many cases, finding a way to keep the home is something that should be pursued.

For many people, that path is bankruptcy. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy can put a hold on collections actions and foreclosure proceedings, giving people a chance to figure out how best to address their financial situation going forward, including how to deal with mortgage payments that might have contributed to their financial ills.

Here in Florida, people are still reeling from the housing market collapse from a decade ago. People who bit of more than they could chew when it came to a mortgage and buying real estate found themselves upside down very quickly, and often had to choice but to walk away from their homes.

Lending procedures have changed since that time, of course, but Floridians still often find themselves under the gun when it comes to fighting foreclosure. As it turns out, since the housing bubble popped, many people have been struggling ever since.

According to a recent report, about 43 percent of people nationwide are renters, up 5 percentage points from a decade ago. Some groups -- particularly Latino households and people aged 26 to 34 -- have seen their percentage of renting increase at nearly double that rate over the same time frame. These statistics speak to the importance of consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney if you are potentially on the path toward foreclosure yourself.

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