Back to the beach…

images-7.jpegYesterday, I decided to spend a bit more time poking around the foreclosure records for Manatee County, Florida, where I used to live and where I got my start as a business journalist. This was prompted by a question by the ever-diligent Floyd Norris of the NY Times, who wondered how I knew how much the mortgage on Countrywide’s (CFC) sex party house that I had written about the other day was really for. After digging through the records and calling the clerk’s office down there, I’ve since corrected that post: the amount owed was $1.1 million, not the $1.89 million the house was listed for on a brokerage company’s site. Countrywide is listing the house for $904K on its own REO site.

That search led me an interesting document (only available via pdf on the clerk’s site) that detailed all of the pending foreclosures set to take place over the next few weeks: 108. And the list seems to be growing by the day because when I downloaded the list yesterday, there were 20 fewer foreclosures listed. Remember: this is just one county in Florida — a county that according to Realtytrac was only ranked at 25 for foreclosure activity in the 3rd quarter.

But a quick scan of the list brings up lots of familiar names, including Countrywide, which shows up four times. Deutsche Bank (DB), whose CEO told Thomson Financial earlier this week that “We have coped with everything that we needed to cope with until the end of September” shows up 15 times. HSBC (HBC), which announced a $3.4 billion write-down yesterday, has 14 properties on the list. This article in today’s Bradenton Herald (my former employer) notes at the very bottom that 1,882 foreclosures had been recorded through October 31 this year and that during the first week of November, another 105 had been recorded.

Remember: this is just one county in Florida. One of 67.