Archive for October 30th, 2010

Foreclosure Mills Pad the Bills

Have you ever wondered why banks sue “unknown tenant 1, unknown tenant 2, unknown spouse of John Doe, and unknown spouse of Jane Doe,” in addition to the homeowners?  Sometimes, these individuals are necessary in a foreclosure case.  For instance, if the property in foreclosure is a rental property, then the tenants must be sued and served with process.  

Often, though, as the Tampa Tribune explains, banks and their lawyers know there is no need to sue these parties, but they do so anyway – just to pad the bill.  And who receives that bill?  The homeowner, of course.  Incurring expenses that don’t need to be incurred just to pass on an expense to homeowners – ya gotta love the foreclosure mills.

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The right way for judges to clear foreclosure cases

With so many judges pushing foreclosure cases towards judgment at alarming rates, it’s refreshing to see judges in Manatee and Sarasota clearing their dockets in a way that the law allows, via dismissals for lack of prosecution.  According to the Bradenton Herald, Judge Paul E. Logan dismissed 357 cases that remained idle for more than a year, as permitted by Rule 1.420(e).  Granted, dismissing 357 cases is like scooping a bucket of water out of the ocean, but it’s a start. 

Judges, the next time you want to clear your dockets, I respectfully suggest that you dismiss cases for lack of prosecution.  And if you feel like the rule is too rigid, i.e. a lot of cases aren’t being prosecuted but can’t be dismissed under the language of the rule, get on the phone with the Florida Supreme Court and suggest a rule amendment.  Rule 1.420(e) has been changed a handful of times over the years, and another amendment seems appropriate. 

Yesterday I suggested an amendment to Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.420(e), making it easier to dismiss foreclosure cases for lack of prosecution.

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