So just how big is the foreclosure problem? That’s a question economists, policy makers and everyone in the known world is struggling with. Whatever the actual number of cases filed, I argue that the foreclosure war is among the most significant issues our country will ever face. It is already affecting not just those in foreclosure, but our entire country. According to some estimates, there will be 13 million foreclosures filed before this crisis is over. (NEWS FLASH- IF UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOT ADDRESSED, THE NUMBER WILL ONLY GROW)
Foreclosure Rocket Dockets- The Wrong Answer to The Problem
The voids exposed in the midst of this war have sucked our entire judicial branch in to a dangerous abyss as entire court systems across this country have thrown long-established rules of procedure and new rules intended to deal with the problems unique to foreclosure completely out the window. Florida’s response to the crisis, establishing Foreclosure Rocket Dockets, has only magnified and intensified the staggering problems and systemic breakdown these cases represent. Like turning a crack addict on to methamphetamine, our Florida Legislature has failed to grasp that pushing foreclosure garbage through will not solve any problems. (Back to the fundamental question, given record high unemployment, who will buy the 559,945 homes expected to be in foreclosure by 2011?)
What is the point of the Rocket Docket? Why did our Federal Government, Florida Legislature and Supreme Court all conspire to create a system that systematically deprives both individual defendants and the entire system of Due Process rights and protections? Why are judges, even today, all across this state still signing off on Summary Judgments of Foreclosure and setting sales to throw their neighbors out into the street on behalf of lenders and servicers who are the targets of investigations by Attorneys General in all 50 states? In this state, the foreclosure mills that are responsible for the vast majority of this putrid foreclosure stew are under specific investigation by our own attorney general. Those facts alone should cause any reasonable judge to at the very least look carefully at each file and in my mind, all these problems should be enough for a responsible judge to find that significant questions of fact exist such that no summary judgment should ever be entered.
$9.6 Million Dollars in Flush Money
It’s completely transparent and easy to understand why the Florida Legislature went along–campaign cash from banking and mortgage interests. These same interests at the federal level wrote the checks to grease the wheels and set this whole wild and out of control Whirling Dervish of judicial system. But why the intense federal intervention in this state problem? Why the millions of dollars in flush money from our friends in Washington, DC? Well, keep in mind that Fannie and Freddie apparently own more than half of the mortgages being foreclosed on. If we were being honest, the plaintiff in these foreclosure cases would be , The United States of Amerika. The plaintiff names as indicated are merely straw parties who have only incidental interests in the outcome of the litigation. At the end of the day there are much darker and more sinister forces at play in this foreclosure war. It’s time we all started asking hard questions about why we’re in this foreclosure war, who is benefiting from the foreclosure war and what the end result of this foreclosure war is going to be. If I were a judge I would not grant a single other foreclosure until I knew the answers to these questions. And while I can 100% understand why the Florida Legislature went ahead with this absurd plan, and while I have some ideas about the interests of the federal government players, I cannot for the life of me understand what in the world our circuit court judges are thinking. Why have they just bought right into this lunacy? What do they gain by being pressured and cajoled to push all these foreclosures through? When the AGs, the world press and other reasonable and authoritative sources are all saying, “this is a broken down, corrupt and abusive war”, why are our local judges elected and senior ignoring all of this and moving right along as if nothing were happening?
We will be flushing out the putrid mess that is now our property ownership records and court dockets for years to come. We’ll be revisiting many of these bad judgments and flawed procedures for decades to come. Maybe then some of these questions will be answered.