Having recently started to digest yet another account of the Russian Revolution, my thoughts are drawn to the parallels between Rasputin and the current Florida Legislature’s attempts to tinker with the Florida foreclosure process. What, you may ask, could the pseudo-mystic and advisor to the last of the Romanov Tsars possibly have to do with a Florida state representative or senator and the foreclosure process in Florida?
Rasputin, in his time, was made a scapegoat for the continual deprivations faced by the Russian people during World War One. His creeping influence over Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra’s policy choices and incompetent personnel selections and appointments were a source of immense suspicion and resentment among the Russian people.
Fast-forwarding to the present day, we are in the midst of witnessing a Florida legislature that is considering – and is well on its way to passing – legislation that would give banks and their attorneys more leeway to obtain final judgments without propounding substantive proof of their claims. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about the errors in judgment and conduct perpetrated by foreclosure attorneys (I have written an entire law review article about such malfeasance) should be hesitant about giving banks and servicers’ attorneys more, and not less, benefit of the doubt. Yet our elected representatives, inexplicably, seem enthused about lowering the burden of proof for such proven wrongdoers.
Attorney misconduct is not the only instance of the Florida Legislature ignoring factual evidence, as shown in our blog post here (explaining that speeding up the foreclosure process has never been empirically linked to an improved overall economy). The evidence, in fact, is quite to the contrary; empirical evidence proves that keeping families in homes through preventing foreclosure precludes many of the negative effects of foreclosures.
So, just as the Russian people questioned why their Tsar inexplicably listened to the mystic-advisor Rasputin in appointing clueless generals and premiers, we at KNZ must ask:
- Why do our legislators, year after year, rush to pass foreclosure bills in the face of empirical evidence?
- What is the unseen force, the Rasputin of our legislature, that has led our representatives to clamor to pass these bills with all possible dispatch, in the total absence of any popular demand or empirical support?
–Dustin A. Zacks, for The Firm