I am obsessed right now with the Florida Foreclosure Slaughter of 2013 that is occurring with infuriating efficiency right now in foreclosure courtrooms all across the State of Florida.
Using the money that was given to our courts by the criminals that caused the crime spree….compliments of the National Mortgage Settlement and emboldened by the New Florida Faster Foreclosure Law and Finality of Foreclosure Judgment that was passed by the Florida Legislature (bought and paid for by the Title Insurance Industry), the banks are being rewarded for their successful crime spree with more Final Judgements of Foreclosure than they’ve ever had before.
The citizens of this state really need to go into courtrooms and see the kind of justice that only big bank money can buy…..I’m not expressing opinion here…I”m stating fact. Florida’s courts are openly and emphatically admitting over and over and over again that they are clearing the foreclosure docket…..not because the law has changed, not because rules of procedure or substantive law has been altered….
Courts are moving foreclosure cases along because this is what the legislative and executive branches have demanded.
The disturbing reality of this dramatic change in output and posture should be the cause of great soul searching and a very close examination of the very foundation of our state government. Lawyers from every single practice area and every judge that wears a robe or who has ever worn the sacred robe should be carefully considering the implications of what is occurring in the middle of Florida’s Great Foreclosure Purge. The character and nature not just of the entirety of this nation’s judicial branch, but also the very nature of the physical landscape of this state and nation are changing.
Put plainly, the judicial branch has suffered great pressure and influence by the legislative and executive branches, and the judicial branch is responding to those influences. This fact cannot be disputed. This fact is largely not disputed within and among the legal community. But what has not occurred is much, if any, consideration about just what this means. To illustrate the significance of this question I urge us all to consider what would become of our notions of an independent and protective judicial branch if the executive and legislative branches decided that the judges on the criminal benches needed to start dramatically changing their outcomes and sentencing…..because that’s what the corporations that fund the private prison systems demand. Or, what if family law judges start getting outpaced pressure from the men who dominate the legislative and executive branches to stop being so damn preferential to women in family law and custody cases…make a dramatic legal and policy change not based on The Law…but based on political pressure.
Just think about that for a moment. I want judges. I want lawyers. I want laypersons to stop and think long and hard about the implications of what is occurring. But unfortunately, people aren’t going to think about this until it’s too late.
What got this post started…and what has me obsessed every day is seeing homeowner after homeowner lose cases that they should not lose….not lose at all. I practice in courtrooms where judges reach out, pleading sometimes, to help consumers and to make sure that real justice is done. The problem is judges cannot step outside their role of cold neutrality to help consumers anymore than we want them bending over to help out an errant bank of their lawyer who is in trouble. And so, far too often, you see judges who have no choice but to sign Final Judgments of Foreclosure for banks….judgments that they likely would not sign if only the consumer had opened their mouth and given the judge a reason to reject that motion…that’s the real tragedy that’s operating in courtrooms all across the state….
And it could be stopped immediately…if only consumers retained lawyers to defend them. One final point. The big point. Even when judgements are Final, it’s not always too late….there are still opportunities to give consumers the help they need…..