The Real Deal Miami

High-speed foreclosure courts try to tackle backlog

September 07, 2010 09:45AM

In the second quarter, Florida saw 20.13 percent of its mortgages
delinquent or in foreclosure, a national high, according to the Mortgage
Bankers Association. Looking to help clean up the mess that has created
a backlog in the state’s court system, the Florida Legislature
earmarked $9.6 million to set up foreclosure-only courts across the
state, staffed by retired judges. The program, which began in July,
looks to reduce the jam by 62 percent within one year. Critics, like
some lawyers, are saying that many of the judges are focused on cutting
the caseload and are favoring lenders, but judges have defended the
effort, saying that Broward County, for example, has three foreclosure
divisions with significant assets targeted at the problem. Huge numbers
of cases are now being handled: according to the Ninth Judicial Circuit,
which is near Orlando, 1,319 cases were closed in July alone. [NYT]