Florida courts dealt with a flood of foreclosures when the dam broke on the housing market in 2008. Over 110,000 foreclosure actions were filed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in 2009, and the tidal wave of cases continued for the next several years. In 2010, Miami’s court system was under the pressure of having over 80,000 pending foreclosure cases.
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The judiciary took drastic measures to slash through this log-jam of foreclosure cases. In what has been termed the “rocket docket,” the courts cut down or adjusted many of the procedural requirements to move cases forward more quickly. Case administrators were appointed to handle many of the duties involved in foreclosure actions. In Miami-Dade, an average of over 35,000 cases per year were closed between 2009-2014, and by 2015, the number of pending cases had decreased to 15,000.
The rocket docket had a profound effect upon both lenders and property owners. Having access to courts is essential to getting cases heard, but sometimes it came at the cost putting homeowners on the losing end. For example, in 2009 the Florida Supreme Court started requiring foreclosure participants to attend mandatory mediation. This requirement was terminated in 2011 due to the minimal benefit the program was having for homeowners and even delays caused by the program. On the other hand, the push to close cases caused many of the lenders’ foreclosure cases to be dismissed by the statute of limitations.
Related: Foreclosure Stripping
However, these ‘dismissals’ may have been only temporary. Although not approaching the overwhelming numbers after the 2008 crash, 2016 saw an increase in the number of new foreclosure filings. This may be due in part to the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling in Bartram v. U.S. Bank National Association which allowed mortgage companies to refile foreclosure actions that were dismissed more than five years ago.
If you have been re-served with a foreclosure action, contact a Miami foreclosure defense attorney right away. You may not have to pay interest and other costs that accrued prior to the five-year date.
Going into the future, the close of the rocket docket era will have the important effect of allowing foreclosure defense attorneys to make sure that lenders follow all of the foreclosure rules. Remember, your lender is not your advocate. When things go wrong, a mortgage company has a team of experienced professionals looking out for its best interests.
If you own a home and are facing a foreclosure, you need to seek legal advice to understand your rights and options. For more information, contact the North Miami foreclosure attorneys at Charlip Law Group, L.C. for a consultation on your case.