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Foreclosure Defense Florida

Foreclosure Courts: Florida consumers need more judges and a properly funded court system, not band aids, stop gap measures and magistrates

The debate over foreclosures in Florida makes its way all the way to California:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) “” With tens of thousands of foreclosure cases clogged in the state’s courts, the Florida Supreme Court is signing off on a plan to use lawyers “” and not judges “” to handle  them.
The court on Thursday issued an order that will allow chief judges across the state to use “general magistrates” to process foreclosure  cases.
The order, which was approved by all seven justices, called the move a “vehicle to provide additional judicial resources to efficiently process those  cases.”
But it was quickly criticized by lawyers who represent homeowners battling  foreclosures.
Matt Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney, called it an “attack on consumers.” He said people dealing with the possible loss of their homes deserve to have their cases heard by judges who are responsible to  voters.
“Florida consumers need more judges and a properly funded court system, not band aids, stop gap measures and magistrates,” Weidner said in an  email.
Florida “” which has had one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates since the start of the Great Recession “” has strained to deal with the number of foreclosures filed across the state. A recent report by a workgroup put together by the state court system estimated that nearly 400,000 cases are now pending in the state and 700,000 more could arise over the next three  years.


One Comment

  • triumphant says:

    Who pushed for this “Magistrate” change? Do the rules restrictions that mandate Magistrates sitting in foreclosure court to “not practice law of the same case type” prohibit Magistrates from continuing to also represent title insurance companies, “banks,” “mortgage servicers,” etc., in other, related matters? If not, why not? Wouldn’t that also be a concern?
    Sadly, but unsurprisingly, THIS is the FIRST action by the Supreme Court of Florida (and more specifically, the “Rules Committee”) with regard to foreclosure procedures after the Supremes had promisingly declared the following in the recent Pino decision:
    ” While affirming the decision of the Fourth District, we also understand the concerns of those who discuss the multiple abuses that can occur from fraudulent pleadings being filed with the trial courts in this state. While rule 1.420(a)(1) has well served the litigants and courts of this state, we request the Civil Procedure Rules Committee review this concern and make a recommendation to this Court regarding whether (a) explicit sanction authority should be provided to a trial court pursuant to rule 1.110(b), even after a case is voluntarily dismissed, (b) rule 1.420(a)(1) should be amended to expressly allow the trial court to retain jurisdiction to rule on any pending sanction motions that seek monetary sanctions for abuses committed by either party during the litigation process, or to allow the trial court explicit authority to include attorney’s fees in any award to a party when the dismissed action is reinstated, or (c) to adopt a rule similar to Federal Rule 11 to provide explicit authority for the trial court to impose sanctions.”
    WHERE, OH WHERE, is ANY action by the Supreme Court Of Florida to address the above stated concerns? (Cue the sounds of surf slapping against Florida’s beaches while dogs bark in the distant night…)

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