Florida continues to show a rather disconcerting willingness to throw its citizens’ rights under the bus to help the banks. The state created special foreclosure courts to clear up a substantial backlog, which might not have been such a bad idea if they had been properly implemented. However, they were staffed with retired judges, many of whom seemed to put speed over due process. There have been numerous reports of judges refusing to hear motions or evidence presented by borrowers, to the point where the ACLU contested the procedures used as violations of due process.
To some degree, this has become moot since these kangaroo courts are expected to be shuttered (they required an extension of funding to continue). Moreover, new foreclosure filings have slowed in Florida as a result of the robo-signing scandal. The revelation of widespread abuses by banks has led some judges to dismiss cases with dubious documentation; judges are also complaining that banks are seldom coming to hearings on foreclosure cases.
Never fear, with government bought and paid for in America, someone was certain to try a fix. The Florida governor has, in effect, suggested that if banks can’t meet the existing requirements for foreclosure, then the solution obviously is to lower them. From a Daily Business Review article on a speech Florida governor Rick Scott made to the state bar association (hat tip Lisa Epstein):
The governor called on judges and lawyers to look for ways to cut court costs, improve efficiency and clear up the foreclosure backlog “as quickly as possible.” The clogging of the courts by foreclosure cases is discouraging businesses interested in moving to Florida, Scott’s main priority, he said.
“It scares people … and is clearly having an impact on the economy,” he said. “I’m looking for The Bar to come forward with suggestions on how to clear this up. Maybe we should consider nonjudicial foreclosures.”
Scott encouraged judges to carefully review verdicts to look for “meritless” cases.
“If we have a huge verdict that seems ridiculous, that adversely impacts companies who want to come to this state,” he said.
Check out the rest here…