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DailyFinance | Architect of Florida’s Infamous ‘Rocket Docket’ Foreclosures

DailyFinance | Architect of Florida’s Infamous ‘Rocket Docket’ Foreclosures


Posted 1:45 PM 01/26/11

Lee County, Florida has become infamous for speeding foreclosure cases through its courts. The super-charged system — or “rocket docket” – can dispense with a foreclosure case in minutes, sometimes mere seconds. In the interests of speed, the courts have even refused requests for delay from foreclosing banks to get their papers in order and exempted banks from rules that apply to others.

Indeed, earlier this month Lee County Judge James Thompson denied a bank’s request to delay a foreclosure so it could try to complete a short sale under the government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program. A HAFA short sale was presumably in the bank’s interest, which is why it requested the delay, and it certainly was in the homeowner’s interest, as the program would protect the homeowner from having to pay the roughly $200,000 difference between the mortgage and the short sale price. Whose interests does Judge Thompson’s order serve?

Florida’s “rocket docket” has been suggested as a reason why so many banks are now voluntarily dismissing Florida banks just aren’t ready to go forward. Those voluntary dismissals have two negative consequences for the banks, so surely they wouldn’t undertake them lightly. The first is that the banks will have to pay new filing fees, some $2,000 per case. (The banks can recoup the costs from the proceeds of an eventual foreclosure sale.) The second is that banks can only do a voluntary dismissal once; if they file again and have to dismiss the case for some reason, it will be with prejudice.

Example below…

[ipaper docId=47631805 access_key=key-1z1o009ce0go46o2nl1c height=600 width=600 /]

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HUNDREDS OF FORECLOSURE CASES DISMISSED IN LEE COUNTY FLORIDA

HUNDREDS OF FORECLOSURE CASES DISMISSED IN LEE COUNTY FLORIDA


Banks drop foreclosures in Southwest Florida

Hundreds of lawsuits dismissed

By DICK HOGAN • dhogan@news-press.com • January 19, 2011

1:10 A.M. — Banks in recent weeks have been dropping hundreds of their Southwest Florida foreclosure lawsuits instead of facing defendants at trial, according to local attorneys and court records.

Opinions varied sharply on whether that means banks are just taking a breather before refiling with stronger evidence – or giving up for good on hopelessly flawed cases.

Some foreclosures at large law firms were never actually read by the attorneys who filed them here and elsewhere, and some of the mortgages that ended up in mortgage-backed securities sold to investors were never legally transferred by the banks, defense attorneys have alleged.


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GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
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