One of the many curiosities in the Florida foreclosure process is the twists and turns that judicial and legislative attempts to wrestle with the immense number of cases our state has dealt with. First, various jurisdictions enacted mandatory mediations as a part of the foreclosure process in Florida. Second, legislators changed some of the Florida foreclosure litigation procedures, including making banks verify the correctness of their pleadings. Finally, judges started setting cases for trial en masse to attempt to clear the case backlog.
Our opinion has always been that all efforts should be aimed at preventing foreclosures, not at arbitrarily setting cases for trial and assisting banks to prosecute their own cases. As it turns out, we Florida foreclosure defense attorneys are not alone. The national association of home builders has issued a policy statement in which they advocate the very same thing. If, as some people assert, “deadbeat” homeowners are responsible for hurting the real estate market, then why would homebuilders advocate creative ways to modify home loans to keep those very homeowners in their properties?
The fact is, empirical evidence has always supported the idea that assisting homeowners in staying in their properties – and not randomly setting cases for trial for the sake of statistical recordkeeping – will prevent the spillover effects of foreclosures. So now that homebuilders realize that helping people to retain their properties can help alleviate the externalities of the foreclosure crisis, we advocates of foreclosure defense in Florida can only hope that legislators, judicial administrators, and those in power will realize the same.