The Florida Foreclosure “Rocket Docket”: A Violation of Our Constitutional Rights?
From the Heart by Ellen Pilelsky
Picture this. In Florida: Retired judges being pulled out of retirement and paid to sit on foreclosure courts. Purpose: To decrease the amount of Florida’s foreclosure backlog.
Reality? The outcome of many cases is questionable, at best. Seems many of these judges, who may be well intentioned, are actually ruling in favor of the banks despite legitimate issues, such as the financial institution’s ownership of the note and mortgage.
Conflict of Interest? Retired judges are actually being compensated in order to decrease the foreclosure docket. Some argue that since these select judges have a financial interest in decreasing these cases, a homeowner’s constitutional rights may in fact be at jeopardy.
In fact, this past weekend, the New York Times reported injustices done to homeowners facing foreclosure through Florida’s recently created “foreclosure courts.” Simply put, questions are being raised as to whether the retired judges are ignoring problematic or contradictory evidence, especially since some banks have not yet even proven that they own the properties in question.
What next? The Attorney General’s office is investigating foreclosure firms that have submitted questionable ownership documents.
The true question is how did we get to this point? How could foreclosure decisions be rendered by courts where the ownership of the very documents upon which the suits are fashioned are suspect? Where is the consideration of the homeowner’s rights?
Perhaps an appeal of those cases incorrectly decided should be under way. More importantly, perhaps justice should actually be served.