In our last blog post, we established that Florida’s courts are flooded with foreclosure cases and examined the system created by Miami-Dade Circuit Court to deal with the problem. Today, we will continue to discuss the controversy surrounding Miami-Dade’s approach.
Many Florida foreclosure defense attorneys are concerned with the creation of the new foreclosure system. For some, the strategy is focused on moving cases as quickly as possible. The fastest means of closing a case is a summary judgment, which is usually not in the best interests of the homeowner.
One borrowers’ attorney, who has had more than a dozen cases on the master calendar, reported that judges often ask how old a case is. According to this attorney, the judges will often aggressively push the older cases through as quickly as possible, even when there are affirmative defenses or discovery pending. The attorney also stated that he believes the system is based on the premise that borrowers who lose their homes will not be able to afford an appeal.
Another foreclosure defense attorney wrote a blog post blasting a summary judgment order issued by Senior Judge Jeffrey Rosinek on the same day he received notice of the hearing. The attorney wrote that this action is contrary to Florida case law, which holds that any final order entered without notice is void and subject to being vacated. The blog post suggested that Miami-Dade’s dockets will become even more clogged with motions filed by those who did not receive notice of a summary judgment motion.
However, the supervisor of the foreclosure program, Judge Jennifer Bailey, adamantly defends the foreclosure strategy. She accuses many borrowers’ attorneys of using discovery as a way to delay summary judgment and stall cases. Bailey stated, “If they pursue the discovery in a diligent way, then that’ll affect the court’s consideration of summary judgment. Every individual case gets evaluated on its merit.”
Still, many feel that a strategy that pushes cases quickly through the system is not beneficial or fair to homeowners.
Source: Law.com “Miami Court Aims to Clear Out 52,000 Foreclosure Cases by June” 9/21/10