As reported in previous posts, the Florida Supreme Court has gotten the message that lenders and their unethical attorneys are abusing the court process and breaking the rules as part of their burning quest to take back consumers homes. (whether they actually have the right to or not.) The Supreme Court doesn’t just go about changing rules unless they have identified serious problems and in fact that have.
The Florida Supreme Court’s New Rule Attempts To Address “Sewer Service”
An earlier post detailed how the new rules require a party filing a new foreclosure case to sign the lawsuit and have it notarized, under penalties of perjury as a way to reduce the blatant lies and fraud that is being perpetrated on courts by unethical lenders and their attorneys. The next component of the rules attempts to address the problem of these firms filing “Affidavits of Dilligent Search and Inquiry” or swearing under oath that they have made attempts to locate the owner, but have been unable to. Type in “Sewer Service” or “Trashed Out” and you will find examples of what is happening, or click here.
Bottom line is, rather than wait to get proper service on Defendants in these cases, sometimes the banks would just kick down the homeowner’s doors, throw away their possessions and change their locks. As you’ll learn from reading “Trashed Out” examples, sometimes the bank doesn’t even own the home they’re breaking into and trashing out. Below is a notice one of my client’s received on her door after the bank had broken down the door and seized her property…she wasn’t hiding from service at all, a simple search of court records would have brought the Plaintiffs to my office where I could have accepted the lawsuit; I will update you on this case as it progresses…
Anywhoo, back to the Florida Supreme Court. In response to Affidavit abuses, the Plaintiff’s firms must now fill out a new form which requires more affirmations before they can go asserting service by publication in a foreclosure case.
The sworn statement of the plaintiff, his or her agent or attorney, for service of process by publication against a natural person, shall show:
(1) That diligent search and inquiry have been made to discover the name and residence of such person, and that the same is set forthin said sworn statement as particularly as is known to the affiant; and
(2)Whether such person is over or under the age of 18 years, if his or her age is known, or that the person’s age is unknown; and
(3) In addition to the above, that the residence of such person is, either:
(a) Unknown to the affiant; or
(b) In some state or country other than this state, stating said residence if known; or
(c) In the state, but that he or she has been absent from the state for more than 60 days next preceding the making of the sworn statement, or conceals himself or herself so that process cannot be personally served, and that affiant believes that there is no person in the state upon whom service of process would bind said absent or concealed defendant.
The new rule should help curb the abuses, but they will not end. Please share with me your examples of “Sewer Service” and other problems with service of process or foreclosure cases.