“The more advanced foreclosure defenses now delve into the sometimes labyrinth world of financial markets, trusts and securities.”


Judges studying home suits

FORECLOSURES: Three will have to get up to speed on a fast-moving field

Foreclosure cases used to be a small and simple part of serving as a civil judge. Not anymore.

The Great Recession has made the flood of foreclosure cases hitting the Florida courts a focus of the job and cranked up the pressure.

Media scrutiny is high. Allegations of faked paperwork are common, and the amount of paperwork is overwhelming. Foreclosure defense has become more sophisticated and quickly evolving.

Starting Monday, three of the most experienced circuit judges will begin handling civil cases, but first they have a reading list: lengthy analysis of the latest foreclosure law and arguments, and guides written by judges who have been in the foreclosure mess for years.

“It’s hard to step into that role,” said 12th Circuit Chief Judge Lee Haworth, who made the judicial assignments for this year. “I’m hoping we can get them briefed so they don’t get a pie in the face.”