Friday, June 24, 2011

Rick Scott Wants Faster Foreclosures

Breaking: Gov. Rick Scott made an appearance to Florida Bar conference. Scott want to do away with foreclosure courts. There have already been problems with the infamous "rocket docket" court judges not reading documents and wrongly foreclosing on homeowners. The law firm of David J. Stern is under investigation and has been caught forging foreclosure documents. Stern handled most of the foreclosures for banks in Florida. Matt Taibbi reported on how sloppily the foreclosure courts are managed by retired judges.

Obviously this is not criminal court and the presumption of innocence concept is not in effect. But I don't see a judge simply waving through every stack of bogus foreclosure papers that comes through his courtroom door as meeting any kind of sane evidentiary standard either. The mere fact that a bank is a bank, and a bank's laywer is a bank's laywer, and that both of them together claim that this or that homeowner is in default -- that has no legal meaning whatsoever, as far as I can see.

The judge's point here is that it's not up to him to mount a defense strategy for homeowners in default. But the idea that it is beyond a judge to open a file and simply check to make sure the names and dates are right -- particularly given the widespread coverage of this phenomenon, when we know that virtually 1005 of these securitized mortgages lack proper paperwork and will inevitably involve fraudulent or doctored filings upon foreclosure -- that is appalling.

What Scott is proposing is allowing banks to foreclose on homeowners without any legal recourse for homeowners. The Florida legislature set up the rocket docket courts to be extremely friendly to banks. Apparently, people aren't losing their homes fast enough to Scott's liking.

Side note: how does Scott think he is going to rebuild Florida's economy if homeowners are wrongly foreclosed on? Is Scott's idea of rebuilding Florida similar to turning parts of the state into ghost towns. Scott should take note of what happened to Michigan in the 80s. People left Michigan. Florida's tax system can't fund i9tself without growth and tourism. Does Scott know who are going to buy goods from businesses when there are no consumers?

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