In response to the foreclosure crisis in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court commissioned a task force made up of attorneys, consumers, judges and other stake holders in this crisis. For a copy of the complete report, visit my website at www.mattweidnerlaw.com.
Some interesting facts that I found in the report:
- The vast majority of foreclosure cases in the state of Florida are brought by a very limited pool of plaintiffs’ firms, who handle approximately 90% of the cases state-wide.
- Two of the firms control approximately 60% of the cases.
- Some Plaintiff’s firms have an ownership interest in the service of process firms that serve the lawsuit on Defendants and they are charging unusually larger fees for this service (I wonder why?)
- Some law firms are having their own employees introduce evidence of amounts owed to their clients….a clear violation of legal and ethical rules, but this goes unchallenged in many cases.
I’m often asked when I think we’ll get out of this current real estate crisis and I keep saying that we’re a long, long way off from any resolution. The following facts support this sobering proposition:
- Florida has the third highest mortgage delinquency rate, the worst foreclosure inventory, and the most foreclosure starts in the nation.
- The July GAO report confirms the highest default and foreclosure rate in 30 years.
- The foreclosure start rate is the highest on record. The national delinquency rate of 12.07% of mortgages is the highest ever recorded.
- Seriously delinquent prime loans were up 271% from first quarter 2008 to first quarter 2009. Seriously delinquent subprime loans were up 846% during the same time period.
- In terms of seriously delinquent loans, the numbers increased 94% over the last quarter of 2008.
- The National Delinquency Survey determined that of the 3,542,940 loans being serviced in Florida, 374,134 are in the judicial foreclosure process.
- A total of 98,848 foreclosures were initiated in the first quarter of 2009, during a time period when many moratoria were in place.
- Another 378,031 loans are delinquent, with 181,044 seriously delinquent (90+ days delinquent).
- The flow of foreclosure cases and homes in the Florida pipeline to foreclosure filing shows only signs of increasing.
- Early information from the United States Treasury Department indicates that the following Florida communities will qualify under the Home Price Decline Protection program, beginning September 1, 2009: Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Lauderdale, Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Sobering facts, indeed.