Have new court rules helped Florida foreclosures?

In another thread, I mentioned where the FL Supreme Court had issued new rules that required lenders to “produce the note” before filing for foreclosure.

Does anyone have experience as to whether or not this has helped or hurt the process? I am still looking at two empty homes outside my window and wonder when this whole mess might stop. Thanks.

No!! As a Florida foreclosure lawyer. I can personally attest to the fact that the myraid of rules being passed by the various Florida courts are just creating a quagmire. We’ll be knee deep in foreclosures for several more years.

And “produce the note” is an illusory issue. The owners of the mortgage do have the notes.

My advice to you: if the properties are in foreclosure, wait to see if the plaintiff buys it at the foreclosure auction. If they do, they’re going to market it with a realtor, priced to sell (generally with some equity)! One caveat: they’ll sell it “as is”

Down here in Lee County, we have the "Rocket Docket"that is finally making headway on the foreclosure problem. But that’s a procedure, rather than a law.

Then what is all of this I’m hearing about how the banks don’t own the note and have to “piece” it back together from the hedge funds?

I talked to a friend that hasn’t made a payment in over a year and a half. Says that apart from the occasional letter, they haven’t even filed a foreclosure action yet. Why wouldn’t the bank at least want to start the process?

Well, it’s good that it clears the docket, but I think that the homeowners are due a little more consideration than that. Plus that article was from early last year. Some rules have been added: mandatory mediation and “produce the note”.

It’s making headway because it allows us to dispose of the mass of cases where nobody is showing up to contest the foreclosure (as when the property is vacant, because the owner has already moved out). But if someone shows up to contest the case, the rocket docket case has to be reset on a different calendar. Lee County is better than most areas, though, in processing backlog.

It may be a little harsh on the homeowners, but that’s the breaks when there’s a nationwide financial disaster underway. And no matter who is to blame for the problem, it’s the homeowners who are defaulting on their loans. If the courts can clear out the greater mass of cases quickly, then those worthy of a little extra time in front of the judge are more likely to get it. Here’s a little news from last week:

July 2, 2010
1:10 A.M. — The backlog of foreclosure cases clogging the Lee County court system dropped below 20,000 in June even as lenders continued a steady flow of filings against family homes.

It was the first time the number dipped below 20,000 since 2008.

Foreclosure lawsuits filed in the county increased to 890 in June after falling for three months, according to statistics released Thursday by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association. That was up from the 847 filed in May but still only about half of the 1,756 filed in June 2009.

But 1,318 homes were sold on the courthouse steps during June - creating a net decrease in the number of cases.

“If we’re eating up 150, 160 percent of what’s filed, we’re making great strides,” said county Clerk of Court Charlie Green.

The backlog reached its peak of about 29,000 in late 2008, just before the start of the “Rocket Docket” that lets judges crank out hundreds of foreclosure judgments in a day.

Foreclosures started to increase in the county in 2006 after the residential real estate boom started to collapse. The number reached an all-time record high of 2,665 in October 2008 and has generally been falling since then, according to the association’s numbers."