Beware of Zombie Foreclosures! Cases Dismissed Months Ago are Now Back from the Dead
It’s a case of Dawn of the Dead called zombie foreclosures. In addition to the wave of Florida foreclosure cases expected once the banks get their paperwork in order and begin to foreclose on new homes again, a different wave of foreclosure cases is also ready to crest. The second wave is the zombie foreclosure wave.
The zombie cases are the ones that were dismissed without prejudice, meaning that they can be re-filed; because lawyers for the banks didn’t show up to hearings or the cases were dismissed due to legal and technical irregularities. Typically, such cases were handled by large foreclosure mills that had sloppy practices.
Now banks are getting a second shot at the cases, which will further clog the court system with even more cases. However, the backlog in the courts and the long periods of inactivity in the zombie cases does buy homeowners more time.
The future surge of cases also creates the danger that the “cookie-cutter” approach lambasted by Judge Jennifer Bailey, the head of the Miami-Dade civil court division, will once again be used by lawyers overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases to deal with. The problem is that the cookie-cutter approach was what allowed the banks and mortgage servicers to fraudulently foreclose on homeowners in the first place.
There is the potential, with the anticipated surge in foreclosure cases, for further fraud and abuse.
The irony is it could be happening with the exact same foreclosure cases that the document mills mishandled in the first place!