The Florida foreclosure process has brought to light innumerable questionable practices by attorneys. Both banks’ and homeowners’ attorneys have faced accusations of improper conduct, ranging from knowingly filing false documents, failing to attend hearings, or a host of other problems in the foreclosure process in Florida. These practices were discussed extensively in a recent law review article by one of our attorneys. One of the criticisms Zacks made is that state legislators and the state bar were relatively slow in reacting to warning signs of the problematical conduct.
Now, as evidence that legislators can swiftly and effectively mitigate attorney misconduct, the Colorado legislature has passed a bill that requires banks to certify the charges they have assessed throughout the foreclosure. Reporter David Migoya of The Denver Post published a number of articles documenting systematic overcharging by banks’ and servicers’ foreclosure attorneys. Accused of overcharging for fees like service of process, posting of notices, and accused of simple fee inflating, the practice was brought to less than a year ago, and the legislature has already acted. It is a pity that Florida legislators did not act more speedily when robo-signing and troubling attorney practices were brought to light a few years ago.
This leads us once again to urge for the careful judicial scrutiny in foreclosures we believe these cases require. We have documented on our Florida Foreclosure Process blog the numerous ways in which court administrators and legislators have sought to speed up the Florida foreclosure process. Yet in light of the recent Colorado misconduct which came to light years after robo-signing dominated the national headlines, this stress on efficiency should not gain primacy over careful scrutiny.